4 killed in small plane crash near Wendover

Published: Thursday, June 2 2011 12:08 a.m. MDT

Wendover airport manager Jim Petersen talks about an airplane crash with four confirmed dead in Wendover Wednesday, June 1, 2011.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

WENDOVER — Four people were killed Wednesday in a plane crash at the Wendover Airport on the Utah-Nevada border.

Jim Petersen, Tooele County director of airports, said the bodies have been removed from the plane and the Tooele County Sheriff's office is contacting next of kin, prior to releasing the names of the four victims. He also said that representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive at the airport today to inspect the scene.

Peterson said it is still unclear where the airplane originated from and what its intended destination was. The pilot was attempting to make a fuel stop at the time of the crash.

"He had radioed into our operations building that he was going to be landing and wanted fuel," he said. "He tried to land and obviously had some difficulty landing. He turned to the north and then crashed into the ground."

The plane crashed 300 to 400 feet north of the runway.

Petersen said the plane is registered to an individual in Portland, Ore., though the ownership has not yet been confirmed.

"We're pretty sure it was more of a local plane," Petersen said.

While the details of the crash have yet to be established, Petersen doubted that low fuel played a part in the accident and said the windy weather likely contributed to the crash.

"The wind had to be a factor," Petersen said. "We have some pretty stiff winds out there. There was a crosswind compliment to it, definitely and he probably had difficulty with it."

A construction worker in the area said he saw the plane hit the ground, go back into the air, then crash.

The wings of the plane were torn off in the crash.

Tooele County sheriff's officials were waiting for investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board to arrive on the scene. Check out deseretnews.com for updates today.

Email: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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