Alaska Airlines released a statement Wednesday saying the company was “deeply saddened” by the death of a 55-year-old veteran pilot who was found dead along an off-ramp of the 5 Freeway in Burbank.
The man, Lee Clifford Morris of Richland, Wash., was a 26-year, “highly respected” pilot for the airline, Gary Beck, vice president of flight operations for Alaska, said in the statement.
Morris landed at Bob Hope Airport on Monday and was scheduled to fly out Tuesday morning 7 a.m., but didn’t report to work, Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy said.
“That’s very unusual,” he said. “That’s why we immediately contacted the hotel, then later, had to reach out to law enforcement.”
Morris’ body was discovered later that evening along the Scott Road off-ramp of the southbound I-5.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Morris,” Beck said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee’s fiancé and other loved ones. He will be greatly missed by fellow pilots and all employees of Alaska.”