Former Senator Among Five People Killed in Alaska Plane Crash

A plane carrying nine people crashed in southwest Alaska on August 9, 2010. Five people died in the crash, which occurred in a remote area about 20 miles north of Dillingham. Four people were seriously injured.

Former Senator Ted Stevens was onboard the plane and was confirmed as one of the fatalities. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in American history, was 86 years-old. Also killed in the crash was the pilot and three other passengers, including a 16-year-old girl.

Authorities said that also among the other passengers of the plane was former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe, who survived the crash.

The plane, a DeHavilland DHC-Z3T Otter, is believed to have encountered bad visibility in the moments leading up to the crash. The flight was headed to Bristol Bay, an area popular for summer sports fishing. At about 8 p.m. another aircraft spotted the wreckage lying on a 40-degree slope and called the Alaska National Guard.
Six “good Samaritans” were able to reach the downed plane on Monday evening. They were able to tend to the wounded overnight.

Alaska Air National Guard rescuers were able to access the remote scene the following morning by helicopter. Federal investigators have released a preliminary accident report on the crash.