SANTA CLARA – The names of the victims involved in Wednesday’s plane crash near Santa Clara have been released. Officials with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and federal aviation agencies are working together to determine the possible cause of the crash.
The victims have been identified as Gary Hawes, 75, of St. George, and Brad Brian, 38, of Washington City. Hawes was the pilot and Brian was a student copilot. They were flying a Cessna 150F fixed wing, single-engine aircraft that crashed near the Wash Cove Trailhead in the Santa Clara River Reserve Wednesday morning.
Jonathan Hawkins, who witnessed the plane flying by while riding his bike through the area around 9 a.m., said the plane was flying overhead in a normal manner “and then it sputtered for a second and the plane just dropped straight down behind the ridge.”
Hawkins contacted 911 and also located the downed aircraft on a slope nearby. According to a statement from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, there is no indication a distress call was sent by the pilots.
Hawes and Brian were pronounced dead at the scene once emergency responders were able to locate and approach the plane. Their bodies were retrieved by helicopter around 5 p.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement remained at the location to secure the crash site for pending investigation.
“This morning, detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office met with representatives of the AA, NTSB and Cessna Aircraft corporation to discuss the detail of the plane crash, which occurred yesterday southwest of Santa Clara,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday. “Working together, the team will examine the crash site to try and determine a possible cause.”
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office also released the following video detailing the wreckage of the crashed Cessna 150F. It was taken after the bodies of the victims were retrieved.
Video courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office
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