Tragedy has struck the roofing industry following a plane crash in southeast Nebraska that resulted in the death of Apple Roofing co-founder Dustan Biegler.

According to ABC-affiliated KLKN, the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office received a call on Jan. 11 regarding a missing small plane. Deputies later found a crashed plane roughly a mile south of Auburn airport. Biegler and the other occupant, Colton Hill of Kearney, were pronounced dead at the scene.

In a follow-up story, KLKN reports Biegler was working to get his pilot’s license when the plane crashed. Biegler’s childhood friend and co-owner of Apple Roofing, Marcus Kuhlmann, said Biegler was a genuine guy who always helped others and was "open arms with a big smile all the time."

“He had that big pearly white smile,” Kuhlmann told KLKN. “It didn’t matter where you came from, it didn’t matter how much money you had, it didn’t matter anything. Dustan didn’t care; he wasn’t a judging person. He was a genuine person with real moral ethics, values and family values.”

Biegler was born Sept. 21, 1981, in Mobridge, S.D., the third of nine children. He moved to Lincoln, Neb., in his late 20s. In September 2011, he and Kuhlmann founded Apple Roofing. Within six years, the company opened three additional offices. It has since grown to 17 locations throughout the United States. Biegler frequently spoke at construction conventions as a leader in the industry.

Biegler’s funeral was held Jan. 20, and can be viewed here. Apple Roofing held a reception at its headquarters to celebrate Biegler’s life. The roofing company also closed its northeast office on Jan. 19 to celebrate Biegler and named him the honorary Employee of the Month for January.

"He conducted more business in the roofing industry than most would dream to achieve in a lifetime," the company said in a Facebook post. "His presence in the office brought a playful energy that amplified our culture while pushing all those around him to achieve success at the highest level."

Apple Roofing organized a scholarship fund in Biegler’s name. Click here for more information and to contribute.