Three die in Alaska Peninsula plane crash

Posted: Friday, August 25, 2000

KING SALMON, Alaska (AP) -- The pilot of a small plane and a passenger were killed when a Cessna 180 crashed into the side of a mountain in bad weather, and another passenger later died of her injuries, the Coast Guard said Thursday.

One female passenger survived the crash. The woman, identified by the Coast Guard as Linda Brooks had two broken legs and broken bones in her face. Alaska State Troopers said she is expected to survive.

The three passengers were vacationing from Jackson Hole, Wyo., according to the Coast Guard.

The pilot, believed to be from Anchorage, was identified by the Coast Guard as Joe C. Maxey, 63. The other two dead were identified as Allen Daws, who died at the scene, and his wife, Ellen Daws. Both were believed to be in their 50s, Coast Guard officials said.

The plane crashed Wednesday night 10 miles west of Amber Bay as it headed back to Painter Creek Lodge, about 90 miles southwest of King Salmon. The fuselage was found 2,700 feet up a 3,700 foot mountain.

Ray Massey, a Coast Guard spokesman, said the people aboard the plane probably were returning from a fishing trip.

The plane was traveling in tandem with another small plane when the lead plane radioed to the other plane, telling it to turn back because the weather was getting worse. The lead plane, however, was committed to its course and continued. It was reported overdue at 7:30 p.m. The second plane altered its route and made it safely to the lodge.

''They had really poor visibility,'' Massey said. ''It (the weather) closed in on them.''

The Coast Guard said they picked up an emergency signal from the plane Wednesday night and began the search Thursday morning. The plane's fuselage, which was intact, was spotted shortly after 10 a.m., resting precariously on the side of the mountain.

The rescue effort was slowed because the plane had to be tied down before rescuers could get inside and pull out the survivors.

Massey said Brooks and Ellen Daws were airlifted to King Salmon where a doctor was waiting and then would be flown to an Anchorage hospital.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified of the crash.

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