Coast Guard says 1 Dead, 4 Injured in Alaska Plane Crash


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard says one person has died in a plane crash Friday in southeast Alaska that left four others injured.

A Coast Guard statement Friday evening says the four were transported by helicopter to a Juneau hospital.

Crews have started recovering the wreckage of a Cessna 207 operated by Wings of Alaska that crashed as it traveled between Juneau and Hoonah, killing the pilot and injuring four passengers.

The four injured passengers were airlifted from the site Friday by rescuers with the U.S. Coast Guard. On Saturday, officials were able to reach the site of the crash, where "very rough" wooded terrain required them to be lowered by hoist from a Coast Guard helicopter.

The body of the pilot, 45-year-old Fariah Peterson, was recovered Saturday.

A helicopter began recovery efforts Sunday, according to Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska regional office.

The four survivors were identified as Humberto Hernandez-Aponte, 57, and his wife, Sandra Herrera Lopez, 60, both of Juneau; Jose Vazquez, 15, of Puerto Rico; and Ernestine Hanlon-Abel, 64, of Hoonah. Lopez and Hanlon-Abel were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Saturday.

Juneau police said they received a 911 call from someone saying they had been involved in a crash on a flight from Juneau to the community of Hoonah. Police said the caller's name matched that of an individual on the plane.

Coast Guard spokesman Grant DeVuyst says authorities, initially thwarted by poor weather and steep, rugged terrain, were able to find a clearing for helicopter hoist operations.

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