Milwaukee County prosecutor lost his life in plane crash in Mackinac County Friday

MACKINAC COUNTY -- A Wisconsin pilot, who was an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee, crashed a plane into a Michigan lake on Friday, Aug. 31 -- and lost his life.

Ronald Dague

Officials with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office identified him as Ronald Dague, 64. Mackinac County sheriff's officials said he was from East Troy.

Below is a statement from John Chisholm -- Milwaukee County district attorney:

"Tragically, we learned that our colleague Assistant District Attorney Ronald S. Dague lost his life in an airplane accident last Friday night.  Ron was a valued member of our General Crimes Unit and served with distinction in many capacities in the District Attorney’s Office since 1992.

On behalf of the District Attorney’s Office and all our colleagues in the criminal justice system, I extend my deepest condolences to Ron’s family and friends at this difficult time.  Ron was a gifted trial attorney, a devoted student of the law, and a passionate defender of equity, fairness, and justice.  His advocacy helped build a safer community for everyone living in Milwaukee County.

At a personal level, Ron was a devoted husband and father who deeply loved his family and his absence will be keenly felt. Please keep his wife and young daughter in your prayers. It was an honor to serve the public alongside Ron, and I wish his family peace at this most difficult and challenging time.

I appreciate the professionalism and courtesy extended to the office and Ron’s family by the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Coast Guard. The family has asked that their privacy be respected as they mourn their loss."

Dague was Milwaukee County's most experienced drunk driving prosecutor.

"The most complicated area of law and science that I've handled in my 23-year career," said Dague.

In 2013, he talked with the FOX6 Investigators about the failure to enforce ignition interlock devices.

"We have yet to be able to successfully prosecute even one case in Milwaukee County. So none," said Dague.

According to the Mackinac County Sheriff's Office, shortly after 9:45 p.m., the plane crashed in Lake Huron -- that's in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

We're told the plane took off from the Mackinac County Airport shortly before and was heading to Mackinac Island.

Mackinac County Airport

Residents reported seeing the plane flying low and then they heard the impact.

Dague was the only one on board at the time.

A search was conducted over the weekend, involving the sheriff's office, U.S. Coast Guard and Michigan State Police. A police dive team was using sonar equipment in the search.

Sheriff's officials said the engine and main cabin of the plane were located Sunday. The pilot wasn't inside. Officials said recovery efforts continue for the pilot's remains and other debris.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating.