Top Nu Skin distributor killed in plane crash at Provo Airport

Jan 3, 2023, 12:46 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 2:55 pm

PROVO, Utah — Friends have identified the victim of a fatal plane crash on Monday at Provo Airport as Nathan Ricks, a Utah entrepreneur and businessman. Ricks is said to be the largest distributor in the history of Nu Skin Enterprises.

Ricks was identified by friends in several social media posts Tuesday. Diana Zisselman said her family knew Ricks for 12 years. She said he supported the family through health struggles and he was all about family and serving others.

“He was a force to be reckoned with,” Zisselman said. “Nathan was a powerhouse in every way. I think if I hear one quote from him over and over: ‘The truth is always good enough.’ He said it over and over and you didn’t always like the truth, but it was always good enough.”

Ricks joined Nu Skin in 1989, and has since founded One Team Global, a sales organization with more than 500,000 distributors that is responsible for nearly $1 billion in Nu Skin products each year.

Zisselman said Ricks owned his own jet and was an accomplished pilot. She said he was flying his wife and two friends — identified as Joyce Ricks, Brent Beardall and Dane Margetts — to attend the Rose Bowl game on Monday morning.

Their small Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft crashed about 1,500 feet down the runway immediately after taking off, about 11:35 a.m. Provo Airport Director Brian Torgesen initially said the crash did not seem to be weather-related.

Ricks was killed in the crash, while 51-year-old Brent Beardall — who was in the co-pilot seat — was hospitalized in critical condition but is expected to recover. The other two passengers — Ricks’ wife, Joyce Ricks, 56, and Dane Margetts, 36 — suffered “what appears to be minor bumps and bruises,” according to a statement on Provo’s Facebook page.

Torgensen originally said the Provo Airport would remain closed through at least Wednesday while authorities investigate, including the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration, but that was later changed to Thursday morning.

“The accident occurred on Provo’s main runway RW 13-31, causing only minor scrapes to the runway surface. Most of the damage to the airfield occurred east of RW 13-31 within the runway safety area. As per FAA regulations, the runway safety area, including all signs and lighting will need to be repaired prior to opening the airport to flight operations. It is anticipated that the clearance to open the airport will come no sooner than Thursday morning,” read an updated statement from Torgersen.

Hundreds of passengers were forced to find other options as about 10 inbound and 10 outbound flights were canceled Monday. Another 12 flights were canceled Tuesday, according to Allegiant Air.

“We are reaching out directly to passengers whose flights have been affected and offering the opportunity to receive a refund or re-accommodate with no fee to the next available flight. We are closely monitoring this situation and will make additional adjustments to the schedule as necessary,” said Andrew Porrello with Allegiant’s media relations.

Danielle Arvallo of Mesa, Arizona, was scheduled to leave Provo on a Tuesday flight.

“When we went onto the airport website and (saw) the next flight was Friday, a little bit of panic set in,” she said.

Arvallo’s kids have school on Wednesday, so her family rented a car to drive to Mesa. It’s about 11 hours with no stops.

“We also had a lot of trouble because my husband lost his wallet with our IDs in it,” Arvallo said. “We managed to somehow get the rental and that’s why we’re kind of driving back. We’re in a predicament right now.”

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Top Nu Skin distributor killed in plane crash at Provo Airport