David Hermance, Toyota's lead American environmental engineer, died in an airplane accident this weekend. Not only did David bring the Prius to America, he was also a champion for efficiency and clean cars as an engineer and as an advocate. He pushed for the Prius before anyone knew what a hybrid was, and he brought the car to America while gas prices were still at a dollar a gallon. "Dave repeatedly demonstrated his commitment not just to Toyota's profits but to the planet," said Jason Mark, vehicles director at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Berkeley.
Hermance, an experienced pilot, was performing aerobatics off the California coast when the accident occurred. He is survived by his wife and two grown children.