Long Island plane crash Richard Terbrusch remembered as 'loving father,' 'critical thinker'

Richard Terbrusch, a longtime Ridgefielder and former member of Ridgefield’s Police Commission and school board, has been identified as one of three victims of a small plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Terbrusch, 53, an attorney with a law practice based in Danbury, died in the fatal plane crash three miles from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. Also killed were the plane’s pilot and owner, Munidat “Raj” Persaud, 41, of Waterbury, and passenger Jennifer Landrum, 45, of Augusta, Ga.

The plane had reportedly taken off from Danbury Airport, stopping there on a flight that originated elsewhere.

U.S. Coast Guard divers located the remains of the two passengers Sunday afternoon in about 20 feet of water south of Quogue, N.Y., after finding the pilot’s body on Saturday.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the plane crash.

“He was a loving father. We’re just in a state of shock,” said his brother, Walter Terbrusch.

Terbrusch was the principal attorney with Terbrusch Law Firm LLC, focusing on family and matrimonial law. He had a legal career that included serving as an attorney for the Chief Court Administrator of the Connecticut Judicial Branch. He had previously worked for the Connecticut Family Magistrate Court, supervising enforcement of child support orders.

Terbrusch was a cum laude graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law, served as associate editor of the Quinnipiac Law Review, and had been a guest lecturer at Western Connecticut State University.

Police Commission member George Kain remembered Terbrusch from their service together.

“Richard was already on the Ridgefield Police Commission when I was first elected in 1999,” Kain said.

“We became friends even though he was a Republican and I was a Democrat…

“He was a solid voice of reason, and our political party affiliation difference was never an issue. He was a critical thinker and he always wanted the best for Ridgefield,” Kain said.

“I feel terrible about his passing — and now I'm praying, especially for his wife Susan and son Grant.”

After Terbrusch got his law degree, Kain, chairman of WestConn’s Division of Justice and Law Administration, invited him to lecture in the master’s in criminal justice program.

“...The students loved him,” Kain said.

”He was regarded as a good attorney and had a successful law practice. He was a gentle man, but firm in his convictions,” Kain said.

Terbrusch grew up in New York — first Queens, then nearby Vista. He graduated from John Jay High School in Lewisboro, NY in 1983, then went to Syracuse University, graduating in 1987. He went to law school later in life, after working for the family court system in Connecticut.

Terbrusch was an equestrian and a nationally-ranked amateur polo player — sports he took up as an adult.

The New York Post’s website reported that Terbrusch represented Bravo TV personality Thomas Ravenel — and included a link to an Instagram photo of the two on the same polo team.