Three of five names released in fatal plane crash near Tahoe

The Associated Press

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. ” Four Carson Valley residents and a Kirkwood Mountain Resort employee have been identified in a fatal plane crash Saturday east of Lake Tahoe.

Two of the five deceased, including the pilot, identified only as a 58-year-old resident of Minden, have had their names withheld by authorities until family members have been notified, said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey.

Authorities have identified passengers Paul Dallas, 43, of Minden; and Leia Denner, 40, and Brent Fahey, 30, both of Gardnerville, as passengers, Halsey said.

A 30-year-old New Jersey man, identified as a Kirkwood employee, also died. Authorities withheld the name pending notification of family.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration arrived on-scene at 7:20 p.m., and began their preliminary investigation into the accident, Halsey said.

The involved aircraft remains on-scene pending recovery by FAA during daylight hours.

The scene of the accident is being guarded by members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses said the plane that crashed Saturday afternoon in a pasture east of Lake Tahoe in Douglas County appeared to be flying normally and then nose-dived.

Halsey said the twin-engine Beechcraft BE95 went down at 4:10 p.m. near Gardnerville in the Mottsville area of Carson Valley, about 10 minutes after taking off from Minden Tahoe Airport.

The four men and one woman aboard were pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Witnesses told authorities that the plane appeared to be flying normally before it nose-dived into the ground. They said they didn’t hear any unusual noises or see any parts separate from the plane before the crash.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the pilot didn’t file a flight plan and it was uncertain where the plane was heading. It crashed about 12 miles from the airport.

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