Oregon girl dies from injuries in Ketchikan plane crash

Posted: Sunday, October 07, 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. - A float plane crash in Alaska that killed most of an Oregon family in August has claimed another victim with the death of a 3-year-old girl who had initially survived the accident.

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Allison Smith had lingered in critical condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center after being pulled to safety following an August 16 crash near Ketchikan, Alaska, that killed her parents, twin brother and grandfather. A California man also died.

Allison suffered severe burns in the crash. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Her grandmother, Mindy Mayer, of Oregon City, survived the accident, as did the pilot and another female passenger.

Investigators said the plane struck a tree before crashing.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board said the accident occurred shortly after the float plane left the Traitors Cove area near Ketchikan, following a two-hour bear-viewing tour.

The plane took off directly into strong winds, and shortly after becoming airborne, turned steeply to the left and crashed into a stand of trees along the bay, severing the right wing. A fire ignited about 30 seconds later.

In an interview with The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Mayer said her granddaughter was awake and crying at the time of the crash and seated in front of her. She said her son, Eric Smith, delirious from pain, handed his daughter over his shoulder to her.

Smith, of Tualatin, died with his wife, Christine, and their son, Trevor, and Mayer's husband, David Mayer.

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