'Inseparable' Clinton brothers killed in plane crash on way to tournament
Dozens of distraught friends, family gather to mourn, remember
"It's hard. It's shocking to know that they're just gone, to know that you can't really get a goodbye, and you think about your last moment with them. They were such amazing boys that we know they wouldn't want us being upset and being a mess. We're trying to stay tough for them because they were always so happy," she said while fighting back tears.
"They were goofballs, but they were so much fun."
Daulton graduated in 2013 and was currently a student at Utah State University. In May, his mother posted on her Facebook page that he had recently received his pilot's license. According to family spokeswoman Taunie Reynolds, Daulton was excited to pursue a career as a commercial pilot.
"He was an amazing athlete and played many sports in his high school career at Syracuse High School. He will be remembered for his harmonica playing and his charming personality," she said.
Carlson said even though Daulton hadn't had his license for a long time, he was an experienced pilot and had completed several solo flights.
"He took a lot of people out on flights. Instead of Sunday drives, he would go flying on Sunday. He'd skip classes and go flying. He loved it," she said. "There's no way he could have just been distracted. He knew what he was doing and he was cautious, and he knew he had to be cautious to keep the people he loved safe."
She said Daulton was flying Jaxon to Vegas so he could attend his basketball tournament. Their parents were driving and planned to meet them in Mesquite. The brothers landed in Beaver because of weather concerns and called their parents before continuing on, Reynolds said.
"When they didn't arrive, their parents started worrying," she said. "Then one thing led to another and they found out what had happened."
Jaxon was about to start his junior year at Syracuse.
"He had a very large circle of friends and was adored by all who knew him. Jaxon was fun loving and made everyone around him laugh," Reynolds said.
The boys are survived by their parents, Rhett and Eileen Whatcott, older brother Dace Whatcott and younger sister Aubri Whatcott.
"As you can imagine, their family is feeling a very intense loss at this time," Reynolds said, adding that the family is "grateful for all of the thoughts and prayers."
The National Transportation Safety Board, along with the FAA, were investigating the cause of the crash, while the Mohave County Sheriff's Office was assisting in other areas.
The wreckage came to rest on a ledge. Recovery crews had to hike to the area to reach it. Reynolds shared the Whatcott family's appreciation for those who efforted the recovery efforts Monday.
Contributing: Sandra Yi
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