Update as of 3 p.m. Monday, July 21:
According to the MCSO, the pilot, Daulton Rey Whatcott, 19, was traveling with his younger brother Jaxon McKee Whatcott, 16, both from Clinton City, Utah. They were traveling from Bountiful, Utah, enroute to Mesquite, Nevada.
On Sunday night, a plane that was reportedly flying low crashed near the I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge.
First responders began receiving phone calls around 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s office, the scene of the crash was at mile marker 14, on the south side of the gorge. Upon arrival, two bodies were confirmed to be fatalities due to the crash. Due to the fire caused by impact, the bodies have not yet been identified.
Beaver Dam Fire & Rescue, ADOT, and AHP were also on scene to try and determine the cause of the crash, although high winds are being considered as a factor. Winds through the gorge after the accident were upwards of 20-30 mph, which prevented Mercy Air from getting a close enough view of the wreckage. “We tried to get lower to the wreck, but it’s just too swirly in there, we can’t do it,” stated the Mercy Air pilot over the radio at the time of response.
In a phone call with Sgt. John Bottoms of the AHP Monday morning, the investigation has been turned over to the FAA and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) as they attempt to identify the plane and victims. Mohave County Sheriff’s Office has also assumed command of the incident.
The FAA and NTSB will continue to be on scene at the crash site as they attempt to determine the cause of the crash. The MLN will post new information as it becomes available.
As of Monday at 10:30 a.m. both bodies have been recovered from the scene. The plane was a 1969 Cessna 172k fixed wing single engine.
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