Son of former legislator dies in plane crash

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2001

WASILLA (AP) -- The son of a former Alaska legislative leader died Thursday in a plane crash near Tyonek, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The wreckage of the Cessna 185 piloted by Curtis Menard Jr. was spotted near Beluga Lake about 10 p.m. Thursday night. The search for the plane came after an emergency beacon in the aircraft started transmitting.

Menard, 36, of Wasilla, was alone in the floatplane when it crashed a mile and a half from the lake about 30 miles north of Tyonek.

Menard's brother, daughter and nephew were waiting for him at the lake, troopers said. They were taken to Valley Hospital in Palmer.

Menard was the son of former Sen. Curt Menard, who served in the Legislature in the 1980s and early 1990s. He represented the Wasilla area and at one time held the Senate seat for the so-called ''doughnut district'' that included areas both north and south of Anchorage.

The younger Menard was an orthodontist, following his father, a dentist, into the field.

Troopers recovered Menard's body Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board was planning to investigate the crash.

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