SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Investigators on scene of Alaska crash


August 12, 2010

Dillingham, Alaska (UPI) -- Investigators were searching Wednesday for a reason why a plane crashed in Alaska, killing five people, including former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, officials said.

Autopsies also were expected to be completed by the end of the day Wednesday, CNN reported.

Nine people were on board the amphibious DeHavilland DCH-Z3T Otter when it crashed Monday night near Dillingham while en route to a fishing resort.

jpg The crash site of the DeHavilland DCH-Z3T Otter near Dillingham

The crash site of the DeHavilland DCH-Z3T Otter near Dillingham
Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers

The cause of the crash hadn't been determined by late Tuesday, but Maj. Guy Hayes of the Alaska National Guard said weather will be considered a factor.

"Poor weather always remains a factor when you are out here ... weather can change drastically," Hayes told CNN.

The other fatalities were pilot Theron Smith, 62, of Eagle River, Alaska, lobbyist William Phillips Sr. of the Washington area and GCI executive Dana Tindall, 48, and her daughter Corey Tindall, 16, both of Anchorage, Alaska.

The injured were identified as William Phillips Jr., 13, the son of Bill Phillips Sr.; Sean O'Keefe, 54, his son, Kevin, and lobbyist Jim Morhard of Alexandria, Va.

Pilots flying over the crash site said the plane flew into the side of the mountain and skidded about 200 feet, CNN reported.

A National Transportation Safety Board team arrived in Anchorage Tuesday to begin an investigation, the Anchorage Daily News reported. During a briefing about the crash, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the plane was on the mountain for several hours before it was noticed missing.

Maj. Gen. Tom Katkus, Alaska National Guard commander, said the plane didn't send an automatic locator signal when it crashed, but could not offer a reason why.

Stevens, 86, was the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate's history and a champion for Alaska.

"Though small of stature, Ted Stevens seemed larger than life. For he built Alaska. And stood for Alaska. And he fought for Alaskans," Gov. Sean Parnell said. "How can we summarize six decades of service?"

President Obama extended his condolences to the families, including that of Stevens, who flew in support of the Flying Tigers in the Pacific Theater in World War II.

"A decorated World War II veteran, Sen. Ted Stevens devoted his career to serving the people of Alaska and fighting for our men and women in uniform," Obama said in a statement.


Related News:

Investigators finish much of AK crash site work - Federal investigators have finished much of their work at the site of the Alaska plane crash that killed former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and four others, and have shifted focus to interviewing survivors and hoisting the wreckage from a steep mountainside. - More...



Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc.
Distributed to subscribers for publication by United Press International, Inc.

E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2010
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.