SALT LAKE CITY – People were identified aboard a plane that crashed on Friday morning near Box Elder Peak in American Fork Canyon.
Utah County Search and Rescue confirms that Tyson driver Colby Brummett, 35, of Salt Lake City, Alex Blackhurst Ruegner, 35, of Riverton; as well as Alex’s aunt and uncle, Elaine W. Blackhurst, 60, of Riverton and her husband Douglas Robinson Blackhurst, 62, of Riverton, were on board the plane when it crashed. There were no survivors.
His flight originated at the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan.
The four people who died in the plane crash near Box Elder Peak in the American Fork Canyon are Tyson Brummett, Alex Ruegner, and Doug and Elaine Blackhurst. @UCSO @UCSO_SAR @lonepeakfire @UtahDPS https://t.co/1oTCOXncvD pic.twitter.com/aCDOcA68c1
– Utah County Sheriff (@UCSO) July 3, 2020
Just before 8 a.m., 911 dispatchers received a call from Gregg Rawlings, who witnessed the accident while walking with his children on the Dry Creek trail. After about an hour of hiking, they were resting near a summit when they saw the plan in the distance. Rawlings says the plane was going down and could not have cleared the mountain. As he got closer, Rawlings says the pilot turned sharply to the right and then began to pull the corkscrew out of control.
“We lost the image on the plane because it fell below the tree line from where we were, but only seconds later, we heard the impact at the bottom of the canyon. We could say at the time that it was not a good thing, “he says.
They tried to call 911 right away, but Rawlings and her children had to walk a little before they could receive a cell phone signal. He says dispatchers were told where the plane fell, but after that, they ran back to the crash site to see if anyone had survived.
He says, “I turned to my children and said, ‘That is someone’s family down there. We have to go see what happened. We need to verify it. ‘”
Sadly Rawlings says that when they got to the remains it was obvious that no one survived. Soon after, search teams spotted the crash site overhead.
While trying to get to the plane, Rawlings says they ran into a few other campers and none of them heard the crash. Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon says if Rawlings and his children hadn’t been there to witness him, investigators would not have known that a plane had gone missing for several hours, and they would not have known where to look.
“We are fortunate in this situation that there are people there who saw [the crash]so we got a notice about it as soon as possible, “Cannon says.
When search teams arrived at the plane, they confirmed that the four people inside were dead. Cannon says the accident happened in such a remote area that the only logical way for investigators to arrive is by helicopter.
“It is an area that is difficult to access, so we contacted the Utah Department of Public Safety and they came with their helicopter,” he says.
The NTSB will determine why the accident occurred.
NTSB is investigating the accident on Friday July 3, 2020 in Alpine, UT, involving a Cessna 172. The NTSB is not traveling to the scene of the accident at this time.
– NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) July 3, 2020