Alaska plane crash, House Speaker among seven people killed in midair plane.
Alaskan state officials say seven people were killed when two planes collided over the Kenai Peninsula Friday morning, including four passengers from South Carolina.
According to a press release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the mid-air collision happened around 8:30 a.m. local time over Soldotna. The initial plane crash was near mile 91.5 of the Sterling Highway, which was shut down temporarily due to safety concerns. Most of the wreckage was found 200 yards from the road, and had multiple witnesses reporting it. The release indicated multiple agencies, from local police and state troopers to the FAA, have all responded.
Alaska State Troopers say one plane involved had a single occupant, while the other aircraft had six people onboard. While one person was found alive on the scene, that initial survivor passed away, succumbing to injuries en route to the local hospital.
Those who passed away were identified as follows:
Alaska state Representative Gary Knopp of Kenai, the sole occupant in one plane
Gregory Bell, 67, of Soldotna, the pilot of the other plane
David Rogers, a 40-year-old guide from Kansas
Caleb Hulsey, age 26, from South Carolina
Heather Hulsey, age 25, from South Carolina
Mackay Hulsey, age 24, of South Carolina
Kirstin Wright, age 23, of South Carolina
The NTSB was notified and will begin their investigation, per Alaska DPS.
“This is an unfathomable tragedy for multiple families today. The DPS sends a heartfelt condolence to all who lost a loved one in this mid-air collision,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “Troopers and partner agencies have worked together diligently at the scene and have reached out to next of kin to notify them of this heartbreaking incident.”
In a series of tweets, Alaska governor Mike Dunleavy expressed his condolences for those who where killed in the collision.