Two people died when a float plane carrying five people crashed into Lake Chelan while landing near this remote resort hamlet in the North...
STEHEKIN, Wash. — Two people died when a float plane carrying five people crashed into Lake Chelan while landing near this remote resort hamlet in the North Cascades.
The single-engine DeHavilland Beaver was a charter flight from Chelan Airways that had taken off from the town of Chelan about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. It crashed about 15 minutes later, flipping onto its top on touchdown, Chelan County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Middleton said.
Deputies identified the dead Sunday as William Stifter, 64, of Spokane, and Roberta Pitts, 67, of Stehekin. According to a sheriff’s news release, they were trapped underwater and rescuers were unable to revive them. Both were pronounced dead at Lake Chelan Community Hospital.
The pilot, Howard “Brick” Wellman, 61, of Chelan, had a head cut and was flown to the same hospital, and a passenger, Patricia Stifter, 60, of Spokane, was taken to the hospital by a private vessel for treatment of hypothermia.
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Another passenger, Samantha Courtney, 16, of Stehekin, had mild hypothermia and stayed with relatives at Stehekin, the release said.
An emergency room nurse said Stifter and Wellman were not at the hospital Sunday at noon. She would not say whether they had been transferred to another hospital or had been treated and released.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration arrived Sunday to begin investigating the crash.
Stehekin, located at the north end of Lake Chelan, is accessible only by boat, float plane and hiking trails through North Cascades National Park.
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Information from: The Wenatchee World, http://www.wenworld.com