Airport co-workers remember friend and colleague killed in crash


Family are not always the ones you grow up with, but the ones you work beside every day.

Family is what a group of co-workers at the Colorado Springs Airport say they are, coming together after one of their own suddenly stopped showing up to work.

When 77-year-old Paul Gannarelli didn’t show up to work, his co-workers knew something was not right.

“Mr. Paul, of course, his way home was leave here, go down Milton E. Proby and go down Powers,” Charity Sosa-Navarro, who works at the Marketplace at the Colorado Springs Airport, said.

She said it clicked what happened to Gannarelli when she heard of a recent crash on Powers.

“I looked at a picture of the car involved in the accident and tried to convince myself, that no, no, it’s a coincidence, it’s not Mr. Paul,” Sosa-Navarro said.

She soon found out it was Gannarelli who was killed in a car crash on Sunday on Powers north of Platte Avenue.

The suspect, Nathaniel Stager, is accused of deliberately steering into oncoming traffic. He is facing first-degree murder charges.

“I was talking with Paul on Sunday, before the tragic accident, talking about golf as usual, and to know that he was driving home just from another day of work and then your life is taken away,” Robert Sedlacek, who also works at the Marketplace, said.

Sedlacek said co-workers have since put up two memorials around the store, including one that is decorated with flowers on Gannarelli’s locker.

“I’ll see him again definitely,” Robert Kidwell, who also works at the Marketplace, said. “I’m sure one day where I’ll meet him again, he’ll just have to wait for me this time.”

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