Don Clift, CEO of the Preferred Beef Group and a director/co-secretary of the North American Meat Association, died in an automobile accident on Sunday, November 11. He was 54 years old. Clift and his wife Jana, 52, were killed when a pickup truck driving in the opposite direction hit their vehicle head on near Sapulpa, Okla. The driver of the pickup, Carmen Spicer, 36, died in the crash as well, reports KRMG News.

“The shock waves are today pouring through the industry at the tragic loss of these wonderful people,” said NAMA in a statement. “They loved each other, they loved their daughters and they were passionate about their business and those who worked for them in Booker, Texas. They went above and beyond all normal standards to help others who were less fortunate than them, and they radiated their own fun-loving partnership to others, bringing joy and happiness wherever they went.

“Don had longstanding friends in the industry, from his days with Elanco, and then at Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and then as a GM for a hog production company. Don was always willing to step forward in our organization to help our collective efforts, and he will be sorely missed.

“NAMA Co-Chairman Larry Vad remembers Don and Jana dancing up a storm at the event hosted by the Bellingers in San Antonio just two weeks ago. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, to his many friends and workers and to all those who respected this lovely man and his wife. They are now, without a doubt, in God’s keeping.”

Source: NAMA, KRMG