Plane crash kills four near Bettles

Passengers' names not released while troopers try to contact relatives

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2001

FAIRBANKS - Four people died Sunday afternoon after their plane crashed south of Bettles, about 180 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as Nancy H. Lewis, 48, but did not give her hometown. Identities of the three passengers were being withheld until relatives could be notified. A trooper spokesman could not say whether the victims were from Alaska.

The state Rescue Coordination Center called troopers at 3:30 p.m. after receiving a signal from an electronic location transmitter. The signal indicated a downed plane 48 to 50 miles south of Bettles, a rural community in the foothills of the Brooks Range.

A Fish and Wildlife Protection trooper flew to the area and located the crash near Lake Sithylemenkat, about 38 miles east of the Dalton Highway.

The trooper landed about a mile away and hiked to the downed plane, a 1977 Maule, a fixed-wing, single-engine aircraft.

Troopers said they will fly a helicopter with additional troopers to the crash site to recovery the bodies.

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