Steve Barnes, a prominent New York attorney who was half of the famous Chilino and Barnes law firm, is said to have passed away. Barnes was killed along with his niece Elizabeth Barnes in a small plane crash in western New York on Friday.
NBC New York reports that a single-engine Socata TBM-700 plane traveling from Manchester, New Hampshire crashed at approximately 11:45 AM in a woodland area near Pembroke, New York. William Sherwin, Genesee County Police Chief, told reporters that a man and a woman were killed and no one escaped. Barnes was a registered pilot and is believed to have been the captain of the small plane.
Barnes’ longtime partner Ross Chilino said in a statement: “I learned with great sadness about the tragic death of Steve Barnes in a plane crash. Steve and I have worked together for many years at our company. He has always been a fearless advocate for his clients. His death is a loss. Great for the legal community.
“Steve’s greatest achievement was his three children Josiah, Rachel and Julia. Steve was survived by his longtime partner, Ellen Storm, who is also a lawyer at our firm. Also heartbreaking is the death of Elizabeth Barnes, sister Brian Barnes and daughter of Rich. Barnes, brother of Steve and attorney at Our Company.At Celino and Barnes, we all feel deeply saddened. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Barnes family during this difficult time. “
Known for its ubiquitous commercials and catchy song, Cellino & Barnes is founded in Buffalo, New York. The attorneys had offices in Buffalo and Rochester, New York, as well as in the New York City area. The company’s practices focus on multiple areas, including plane crashes, dog bites, and wrongful deaths, according to its website.
They rose to fame with their old song setting their free music phone number. Personal injury attorneys became so popular with their slogan “Don’t wait, call 8” that they were even tricked by “Saturday Night Live” in a sketch.
In 2018, #cellinoandbarneschallenge went viral as Broadway actors posted videos of themselves singing catchy melody on Instagram with singers, including Catherine McVeigh Foster and Sarah Barriles, taking part.
On the company’s website, the biography of Barnes says he is a former Marine Corps officer and Gulf War veteran.
The plane that went down in the woods is recorded for a company that shares the address with Cellino & Barnes. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the cause of the accident and that a report would be issued within 7 to 10 days.