Report: Plane that crashed in New Mexico registered to East Texa - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Names of Harrison County victims of N.M plane crash released

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UPDATE: According to the New Mexico State Police, the identities of the four people killed in a plane crash in Angel Fire have been released.

The pilot, John Phillip Verhalen III, 33, Sara Verhalen, sister of the pilot, 41, Chloe Marie Jameson, daughter of Sara, 13 and Jennifer Woodward, girlfriend of the pilot, 26.

All four victims are from Texas.

State Police and NTSB continue to investigate the cause of the crash. In a statement released earlier Monday, N.M. State Police said, "A single engine aircraft apparently was taking off from the Angel Fire Airport and due to strong winds the aircraft went down.  At this time it appears to be no survivors and it is unknown how many occupants were on board.  State Police continue to investigate."


 

UPDATE: A single-engine Mooney aircraft crashed and burned shortly after takeoff from the airport at Angel Fire, NM, Sunday afternoon at 2:24 p.m., according to Lynn Lunsford, Lynn Lunsford, Mid-States Public Affairs Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We do not have immediate details on the flight's destination," Lunsford said in an email to CBS 19. "You'll need to check with local law enforcement on the number of victims. I've heard conflicting numbers of three or four. Local authorities will be the ones to release identities at the appropriate time."

Lunsford said winds at the time of the crash were strong and gusty, and that investigators will determine whether this played a role in the accident.

"FAA investigators are on their way," Lunsford said. "The National Transportation Safety Board, which will be in charge, has been notified. "

The tail number of the aircraft is N3484X.  According to faa.gov, that tail number is assigned to Verhalen Flyers, of Scottsville, near Marshall. The fixed wing single-engine Mooney plane was manufactured in 1966.


 

ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (KRQE) - State police confirmed there were no survivors in the crash of a single engine plane that took off in northern New Mexico Sunday.
    
The crash killed four people and was close to highway 434 south of the Angel Fire Airport.

An airport official says it may have been two adults and two children and says the plane was a Mooney registered in San Antonio, Texas. The CBS station in San Antonio says John Verhalen of Scottsville in Harrison County owned the plane, but it is not known if he was the one flying it Sunday afternoon.

An airport attendant says the plane crashed at about 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon, shortly after taking off.
    
Several drivers reported it as they passed it on the highway.
    
It's still unclear exactly who was on board the plane.
    
Investigators are not releasing the pilots name and say they are still trying to identify the others.
    
The cause of the crash is still under investigation but the fire department says winds were likely a factor.
    
Sources tell KRQE News 13 that officials at the airport told the pilot no to take off because the cross winds were high, reaching more than 50 miles per hour.

Other residents said the weather affected the ski slopes.

"The main chili express they shut it down at noon. The southwest flyer that lift try never shut it down and they shut it down today. It was really windy," Steve Lund said.

"This is a town year round of under a thousand residents. It's a iffy knit community. I hear something like that is pretty devastating," Michael Cain said.

State police is here watched over the scene Sunday. They're expecting federal aviation investigators to take over Monday.
    
Angel Fire Airport doesn't have an air traffic control tower, so pilots land and take off at their own discretion.

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