Respected Thunder Bay lawyer dies in plane crash
The Thunder Bay legal profession is in shock over the sudden death of one of their most respected members.
Peter Mrowiec, 58, was killed Thursday in Utah while flying in bad weather. CBC News reported he was one of two people killed in a single-engine aircraft crashed and burned near the town of Nephi, Utah, about 83 miles south of Salt Lake City.
“We are all shocked by this, it is very tragic, he will be missed,” said fellow lawyer Gil Labine in an interview on Saturday. “He leaves a big hole to fill.”
Mrowiec was one of two certified criminal litigation lawyers in the region. Labine is the other.
Labine said he knew Mrowiec well professionally and they worked together on several cases. He called him a very passionate defender of his clients, who treated them with compassion.
“We always had a good working relationship,” Labine said.
Mrowiec’s law practice, Peter Mrowiec Law Office, served clients from Wawa, to Kenora and as far north as Fort Severn. Labine said the office will most likely be absorbed by another firm.
“They have many active clients that will need to be served,” he said.
Mrowiec was called to the bar in 1987. He was certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in criminal law. He was also a past director of both the Thunder Bay Law Association and the Criminal Association of Ontario. He also recently finished his tenure as the northwest director of the Ontario Bar Association.
On a personal level, Labine said he knew Mrowiec was an avid cross-country skier and kayaker. He had recently taken up flying.
“I think Peter was looking at a different life out of the legal profession,” Labine said.
Mrowiec leaves behind a wife and three children.
A second man, Robert Lamb, 45, was also killed in the crash.
In earlier comments, Juab County Sheriff Aldon Orme said Mrowiec had traveled to Utah to buy the plane, a single-engine Alarus 235, and asked Lamb to be his flight instructor to help prepare him to fly it.
At the time of the crash, it was reported that severe weather with strong winds and heavy rainfall had moved into the area.
Labine said there will be a memorial service for Mrowiec and himself and fellow lawyers will be gowned for his funeral as a sign of respect.