Kansas couple killed in crash near Skagway

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Investigators reached the mountainous site of a single-engine plane crash near the Canadian border and retrieved the bodies of the two victims on Thursday.

The victims have been identified as a 70-year-old man and his 69-year-old wife, both from Sedgwick, Kan., who died when their Cessna 172 struck a mountain in White Pass in poor weather. Alaska State Troopers withheld their names pending notification of their next of kin.

The airplane took off from Juneau en route to Whitehorse, Yukon, when the crash occurred shortly after 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The airplane came to rest upside down in a crevasse about 500 feet above the Klondike Highway. The crash site is located about 12 miles northeast of Skagway.

Witnesses saw the airplane strike some trees on the side of the mountain and continue flying into a cloud bank before they heard an impact, said Clint Johnson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Skagway Police had earlier said fog was in the area at the time of the crash. Investigators plan to retrieve the airplane for further analysis. The pilot's body will be taken to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for an autopsy, said a spokesman for the state troopers.

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