Three Utah men from the Logan area died on a mountain meadow near the Idaho-Montana border Thursday after the small plane they were flying crashed.
Killed were:Robert Scott Croft, 66.
Jack Duane Rounds, 67.
Jack T. Sorenson, 73.
They all died at the scene of the crash, about 300 yards from I-15 and seven miles south of Monida Pass, Clark County Sheriff Craig King said.
The accident occurred around noon in rainy and cloudy conditions.
Initial reports suggest the bad weather may have played a part in the crash. The three friends were returning from a fishing trip at Clark Canyon Reservoir when they flew out of Dillon, Mont., roughly 60 miles north of the crash site.
When the single-engine Cessna encountered low clouds after crossing Monida Pass, the pilot attempted to reverse direction. The plane was headed back toward Dillon when it crashed, King said. Clouds hung 100 to 150 feet from the ground at the time of the accident.
It was not apparent Thursday which of the men was flying the plane.
Two witnesses driving on the interstate told police the plane emerged from the clouds moments before its left wing struck the ground. The plane then flipped several times before coming to a rest, King said.
"They just hit the ground about the time they came out of the clouds," he said.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to examine the scene Friday.