62°F
weather icon Clear

Small plane crashes on I-15 near Salt Lake; 4 killed

Updated July 27, 2017 - 6:57 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A small plane crashed on a Utah highway Wednesday, killing two couples heading for a vacation but narrowly missing cars when it barreled across the lanes through a gap in traffic.

The plane went down shortly after takeoff from a municipal airport popular with private pilots north of Salt Lake City, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. No injuries were reported on the ground after it snarled traffic and left behind blackened wreckage.

Layne Clarke, 48, was flying his wife and two friends as they departed for a vacation, said family friend and colleague Jeff Henderson. Clarke owned an automotive paint business and had gotten his pilot’s license about five years ago after a friend got him interested in aviation, he said.

Clarke was a “very energetic, wonderful man,” Henderson said.

 

Also killed in the crash was his wife, Diana Clarke, 46, of Taylor, Utah, and their friends Perry, 45, and Sarah Huffaker, 42, of West Haven, Utah, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Administration are investigating the cause of the crash. It closed most lanes of Interstate 15 in Riverdale, about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The Beech A36 Bonanza crashed about a half-mile from a nearby municipal airport. It hit on the edge of the interstate, went across the northbound lanes during an opening in traffic and landed in the median, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce told the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden.

It appeared the plane was out of control and the pilot was trying to land it on the interstate just before the crash, semitrailer driver Obdulio Ruiz told the newspaper.

Driver April Demetropolis was on her way to work when the plane crashed so close to her car that she felt the reverberation and heat from the explosion, the Deseret News reported.

“Out of nowhere from the east side, a plane came swooping in and just nose-dived into the middle of the freeway,” Demetropolis told the newspaper. “It exploded. The flames engulfed the entire street.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
FDA panel endorses COVID-19 vaccine for kids

The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding COVID-19 vaccinations for millions more children as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer’s shots for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Leaked documents show Facebook profits amid safety revelations

Amid fallout from the Facebook Papers documents supporting claims that the social network has valued financial success over user safety, Facebook on Monday reported higher profit for the latest quarter.

Up to 10K California trees to be removed; road to large sequoias closed

In the wake of California wildfires, upwards of 10,000 trees weakened by fires, drought, disease or age must be removed, work that will keep a nearby highway closed to visitors who seek the world’s two largest sequoia trees.

Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids, says FDA

Federal health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the U.S. weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.

 
Data offers glimpse of breakthrough risks for Southern Nevada workers

There have been more than 500 vaccine breakthrough infections of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated casino workers in Clark County, a number similar to that of health care workers.

Baldwin didn’t know weapon contained live round, warrant says

Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records released Friday show.

Sheriff: Actor Baldwin fired shot on movie set that killed woman

A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring and producing a Western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director Thursday at the movie set outside Santa Fe, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said.

CDC expands COVID booster rollout, OKs mixing shots

Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters

U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.