The holidays are the time of year when the number of families that travel to visit loved ones reaches its peak. For one Idaho family, it was a journey that ended in tragedy when their plane crashed shortly after taking off, killing nine people on board and leaving three others critically injured.
ABC 15 in Phoenix reports that the crash happened on Saturday, November 30th, at approximately 12:30 p.m. in Brule County, South Dakota, near the city of Chamberlain.
Brule County State’s Attorney, Theresa Maule Rossow, told reporters in a statement that the single-engine 2013 Pilatus PC-12 aircraft was carrying a family of 12 who was visiting South Dakota for a hunting trip over the holiday.
The plane was registered to Conrad & Bischoff, Inc. of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Those who were on board were members of the family that owned the company, and they were heading back home to Southern Idaho.
According to Brule County Emergency Manager, Katheryn Benton, the area was currently under a winter storm warning with visibility of less than a half a mile at the time of takeoff. Officials say that the pilot attempted to bring the plane back down to the runway but was unable to land the aircraft, due to weather conditions which had worsened.
Nine of the twelve people on board the small aircraft died. Among the victims were two children. The three survivors were rushed to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash.