2 Florida citrus industry leaders killed in helicopter crash

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) – Two Florida citrus industry leaders are among the victims of a helicopter crash in southern Nicaragua.

Officials in Nicaragua said poor visibility caused the crash early Tuesday, killing four people. The victims include Jim Horrisberger of the Florida Citrus Commission and Phil Tope, chief executive at Tampa Juice.

Horrisberger worked as North American procurement director for the Coca-Cola Company at its Auburndale office and had been a member of the citrus commission since 2010.

In a statement to The Ledger, company officials said he was “a highly respected leader in the juice business.”

Tope had served as chief executive at Tampa Juice since 1993. His brother said he made the trip with Horrisberger to visit groves belonging to Tampa Juice’s parent company.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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