VENETA, Ore. -- Four people died when a small airplane crashed near Elmira, Ore., north of Veneta on Saturday afternoon just after taking off from a small air strip.
The Lane County Sheriff's Office identitified the victims as:
- Jerome Roch Delbosc D'Auzon, 41, of Eugene
- Robyn Leigh Weir, 40, of Junction City
- Christopher Robin Kent, 37, of Junction City
- Erin Thomas Frank Noble, 27, of Eugene
In a statement on the crash, Oregon Country Fair General Manager Charles Ruff said that the people on board the plane were participating members of the Country Fair's family. Ruff said that those on the plane will be deeply missed, but always remebered for their spirit, unique talents and devotion to the group.
The Cessna 172 plane took off from the Cro-Mag airstrip located on the north side of Suttle Road just after 3 p.m.
The plane almost immediately crashed in a wooded area south of Suttle Road.
A report from Lane County Fire District said that of the four people onboard no one survived.
Fire chief Terry Ney of Lane County Fire and Rescue said that the plane flipped upside-down, went through heavy trees and landed very hard on the ground. Emergency crews were barely able to reach the plane to determine the status of the occupants.
The owner of the plane was not flying Cessna on Saturday afternoon. He did describe the crash to KVAL News as a tragedy.
The names of the people onboard will be released after authorities notify the next of kin.
Residents nearby are still shaken up by the tragedy.
"I went right to the plane and saw the bodies," said Ed Daniels, a resident that lives near the site.
Daniels reached inside of the mangled plane and tried to get a pulse from the occupants but had no luck.
"There was no noise, no sound, and not a lot of smell of fuel," Daniels said. "It was almost as if the plane had been there for hours when it had just hit the ground a miniute, or a minute and a half before. It's a sad thing, just four young lives ended like that."
The Lane County Sheriff's Office, National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident. They have not identified the cause of the crash.