More details released about Reservation plane crash
Two people perished in an airplane crash Saturday on the Warm Springs Reservation.
According to a news release from Warm Springs Police Chief Bill Elliott, at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 9, the Warm Springs Dispatch Center received a report from Seattle Air Traffic Control of a possible plane crash within the boundaries of the reservation in the area of the Mutton Mountains.
The plane was described as a Cessna Citation 560 passenger jet capable of transporting up to 11 passengers. The exact number of passengers in theplane had not been confirmed at that time. The crash was confirmed by a United States Air Force military flyover as well as an Oregon State Police aircraft.
The Warm Springs Tribal Police Department coordinated the search efforts once they had the coordinates from an Oregon State Police flyover. Warm Springs Police responded with the assistance of Warm Springs Fire and Safety, Wasco County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, and Wasco County Search and Rescue.
The crash site was near the S390 Road accessible using the S300/Highway 3 from Schoolie Flat/Simnasho. Elliott said road conditions made access difficult due to snow and mud. Officers utilized ATVs to reach the crash site on Saturday.
Due to the remote location, radio communication was unreliable, and cell phone reception was spotty, said Warm Springs Police Lt. Ron Gregory.
"There were two people on board the plane at the time and unfortunately, both perished in the crash," Gregory said.
He said the first day the search stalled due to downed trees over major access points into the area.
"As the day turned to night, our crews did not have the necessary tools to get through, so they resumed the following morning, spending about eight hours locating the crash site and searching the wreckage," Gregory said.
Crews recovered the remains of at least two individuals. Release of name information is pending, confirming the identification and notification of their families.
Gregory said the plane had departed from Troutdale en route to Boise, Idaho, carrying the pilot and at least one passenger. The crash portion of the investigation will be handled by National Transportation Safety Board.
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