Published On: Thu, Oct 4th, 2012

Lee Clifford Morris, Alaska Airlines pilot, found deadon the side of a freeway

Investigators are hopeful that autopsy results on a 55-year-old pilot found dead along the 5 Freeway, Alaska Airlines officials said the veteran captain had passed his required physical exams and was “in good health.”

Lee Morris with his two grandsons – facebook photo

Lee Clifford Morris was a Seattle based pilot who worked for Alaska Airlines and Horizon for over 25 years, said Paul McElroy, an Alaska Airlines spokesman.

Morris was spotted “lying motionless” along a fence at the Scott Road offramp Tuesday afternoon.  Paramedics arrived and pronounced the man dead.

All captains for the airline undergo a physical exam twice a year, McElroy said.

“They’re not allowed to fly if they don’t pass that medical,” he said. “As far as we know, he was in good health.”

Morris flew from Seattle to Burbank midmorning Monday and checked into a hotel, where he was supposed to stay the night before flying back to Seattle on Tuesday at 7 a.m., McElroy said. He did not show up for the flight, McElroy said, which is when airline officials contacted the hotel and local authorities.

McElroy described Morris as a “highly regarded and respected pilot” survived by family, including his fiancee and grandsons.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lee’s fiancee and other loved ones,” Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines vice president of flight operations, said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by his fellow pilots and all employees at Alaska.”

Detectives were waiting for coroner’s officials to determine a cause of death, Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said. There were no obvious signs of injury — no gunshot or stab wounds, and no evidence that Morris had been struck by a car, he said. His wallet and identification were with the body, he said, indicating robbery was probably not a motive.

“We absolutely don’t know,” Ryburn said.

Burbank police are in the process of interviewing Morris’ crew members and co-workers.

Anyone who may have seen something suspicious on the off-ramp between midnight and 6 p.m. Tuesday was asked to call police at (818)238-3210.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Hundreds gather to honor Alaska Airlines pilot, Lee Morris, found dead on the side of the road - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Alaska Airline pilot found dead in Burbank last week was remembered at a memorial as a fun-loving grandfather who enjoyed golf, the Seattle Mariners and […]

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