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U.S. Highland Falls After Plane Crash Kills Officers

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Highland Inc., the maker of Motocross performance motorcycles, plummeted in over-the-counter trading after the company’s president and two other top officers died in a plane crash.

The shares fell 54 cents, or 44 percent, to 75 cents at 3:45 p.m., the biggest drop since April 1.

President Mats Malmberg, 41; Chief Operating Officer Chase Bales, 51; and Chief Financial Officer Damian Riddoch, 37, died late July 10 when their plane smashed into a wooded area in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing all three on board, the company said today in a statement.

“This is a human tragedy beyond imagination,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Moell said in the statement. “They were all true visionaries and will be deeply missed.”

The three were returning from Detroit when an emergency landing at Tulsa’s airport was requested, U.S. Highland said. Bales was in the pilot’s seat at the time of the crash, Darin Long, a U.S. Highland spokesman, said in an interview.

The men were aboard a twin-engine Cessna 421A, said Keith Holloway, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman.

The sky was clear, and winds were calm near Tulsa around the time of the crash, according to data from Weather Underground Inc., which archives historical weather conditions.

An NTSB investigator is on the scene, and the cause of the crash hasn’t been determined, Holloway said.

The company will name the executives’ replacements tomorrow, Long said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Theo Keith in Southfield, Michigan at tkeith6@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net.

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