David Westin Remembers John McWethy

Upon learning that former ABC News correspondent John McWethy had died in a skiing accident in Colorado, ABC News President David Westin issued this statement:

I am so truly sorry to say that our dear friend and colleague, John McWethy, passed away this afternoon as the result of a skiing accident in Keystone, Colorado. As many of you know, Jack and his wife, Laurie, had recently moved to Boulder to be nearer the slopes and the links. So, he was doing something that he truly loved, but he deserved many more years doing it than he was given.

All of us know Jack well from his many years as our distinguished national security correspondent. He was one of those very rare reporters who knew his beat better than anyone and had developed more sources than anyone and yet kept his objectivity. Jack's work made the people he covered value him, respect him, and always know that he would keep them honest. None of us will forget his memorable reporting on September 11, 2001, when he had to evacuate the Pentagon and then continued to report live from the lawn nearby.

A few years ago, Jack came to me and said that he wanted to step away from his work as a correspondent. There were other things he wanted to pursue in life, both personally and in working with his church. I wish all of you could have been there for his "retirement" party to see the highest levels of the Pentagon -- civilian and military -- come to express their respect and affection for Jack. He represented the very best of ABC News.

But as fine a reporter as he was, he was just that fine a man. There was an essential goodness to him that permeated everything he did. He loved his profession, but he loved his family more. And he always had a powerful sense of need to help those around him.

As we learn more, I will keep you informed. I know that Jack and his family will be in all of our thoughts and prayers.