BANGOR, Maine — Two dogs that belonged to actor John Travolta and his family were accidentally struck and killed on the tarmac early last Thursday morning by an employee at Bangor International Airport, according to city officials.
An e-mail sent late last week by Bangor Interim City Manager Bob Farrar to the nine city councilors, which was obtained by the Bangor Daily News, confirmed the accident.
Asked to verify the details contained in that e-mail, the city released this statement:
“At approximately 1 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2010, an airplane carrying members of the John Travolta family landed at BIA. While there, two small dogs were taken for a walk by someone who is not a family member. An airport service pickup truck was approaching the airplane to service the airplane and did not see the dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs were struck and killed. The airport is investigating the accident. Out of respect for the family’s privacy the city will make no further comment.”
Airport Director Rebecca Hupp said normally it’s the airport’s policy not to comment on the identity of any passengers that come through Bangor, which is why, she said, she didn’t release a statement immediately after the accident happened.
“The airport takes safety very seriously,” Hupp said Monday afternoon. “Many flights come and go without incidents. Clearly, this is an unfortunate accident. Our deepest sympathies are with the family.”
It’s unclear whether any charges would be filed against the employee, who has not been named. Hupp also didn’t know whether the dogs were on leashes or not or what breed of dogs they were. The assistant who was walking the dogs was unharmed. The plane landed and was serviced at the main domestic terminal section of BIA.
Bangor police Lt. Steve Hunt confirmed Monday that officers responded to an incident at the airport that morning, but he declined to provide any details.
Paul Bloch, a publicist for Travolta, said Monday that he was unaware of the incident, but that he would look into it.
Travolta, 56, and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, 47, own a home on Islesboro off the coast of Waldo County, and the family likely was headed there after landing at Bangor. It wasn’t clear how many people were traveling with Travolta or if the actor, who is an accomplished pilot, was flying the plane.
In January 2009, the Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, died after suffering a seizure while vacationing with family in the Bahamas. Travolta and Preston have one other child.
A longtime fixture in Hollywood dating back to the late 1970s with movies like “Grease,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Urban Cowboy,” Travolta is still acting and was seen most recently in “Old Dogs” alongside Robin Williams.