• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 4s

Four killed in plane crash near St. Mary’s

By KTVA CBS 11 News 12:18 PM December 2, 2013

Cessna 208 carrying 10 went down outside St. Mary's

Editorial Note: Troopers are now spelling the pilot’s name as “Terry Hanson,” not “Terry Hansen” as was originally reported.

Update: Saturday, 2 p.m.

All the passengers who survived the crash are Mountain Village residents, according to Martin Alexie at the Mountain Village Police Department.

Melanie Coffee, 25, is at ANMC. Until recently she was an elder care provider with a program that has since closed.

Pauline Johnson, 37, is also at ANMC and is a tribal court administrator.

Kylan Johnson, 14, is Pauline Johnson’s son and is at Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Tanya Lawrence, 35, is at Providence. She is a secretary with a school district. Shannon Lawrence, whose age troopers did not release, is also at Providence.

Garrett Moses, 30, is a full-time dad and is at Providence.

The four passengers who died were Richard Polty, 65; Rose Polty, 57; Wyatt Coffee, 5 months old and Terry Hanson, 68.

(This update was compiled based on information from Alexie and the Alaska State Troopers dispatch).

Update: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Alvin Brown, a former village public safety officer of Mountain Village, was one of the responders on the scene last night after receiving a call from the city manager.

Brown and other volunteers searched for crash victims on snowmobiles and ATVs. He was in one of the vehicles that transported victims and said the fourth passenger who died as a result of the crash passed away in transit.

According to Brown, a family was on board and one of passengers killed in the crash was a 5-month-old infant. Brown said he knew everyone on the plane except for the child.

Update: Saturday, 11:30 a.m. 

Hageland Aviation released a statement regarding the crash and said they are working with authorities to figure out what caused the accident.

“Hageland Aviation Services and our employees send our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of those who died and were injured in the plane crash near St. Mary’s last night,” said Hageland Aviation President Jim Hickerson in the statement. “Hageland is working to gather information to answer questions and do what we can to ease the suffering of those involved in the accident. As a family-owned business this is an unspeakable tragedy for us. We will work closely with local, state and federal authorities to determine the cause of the accident.”

Original Story

ANCHORAGE – Four people are dead following a plane crash outside St. Mary’s Friday night, Alaska State Troopers confirm.

The Cessna 208, flown by Hageland Aviation, was traveling from Bethel with 10 people on board when it went down sometime around 6:30 p.m., said Mountain Village police dispatcher Ryan Johnson. A St. Mary’s resident who responded to the crash said the plane was originally bound for Mountain Village, but was unable to land because of ice and foggy conditions.

According to trooper dispatch, passengers Rose Polty, Richard Polty, Wyatt Coffee and pilot Terry Hanson were killed when the plane went down. Passengers Melanie Coffee, Pauline Johnson, Kylan Johnson, Tanya Lawrence, Garrett Moses and Shannon Lawrence survived.

Troopers first received reports of the missing plane at approximately 7 p.m. Friday, and located the wreckage of the plane around 8:30 that evening near a dump outside St. Mary’s. The Rescue Coordination Center and LifeMed responded to the scene along with troopers.

Saturday morning, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Native Medical Center said Coffee and Johnson are hospitalized in fair condition at ANMC. There was no information immediately available regarding the condition of the remaining four survivors.

St. Mary’s is a community of about 500 people on the banks of the Andreafsky River, approximately 470 miles west of Anchorage.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Presbyterian church first to present statewide apology at AFN

    by Liz Raines on Oct 22, 19:50

    It was an historic moment for the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Saturday. For the first time, a religious organization came before an AFN convention to apologize to Alaska Native people from across the state for its hand in cultural oppression. Another milestone for AFN, 50 years after its creation. “You did nothing wrong. You were […]

  • News

    Alaska veterans receive warm welcome home after Honor Flight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 22, 19:05

    A group of Alaska veterans returned Saturday from Washington D.C., where they visited our nation’s war memorials thanks to Last Frontier Honor Flight. The crowd waiting for their arrival at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport applauded as the veterans disembarked to the sounds of bagpipes from the Alaska Celtic Pipes and Drums (ACPD). The 23 […]

  • News

    SAVEarth project aims to provide homeless Alaskans with boots

    by Eric Ruble on Oct 22, 18:28

    While many Alaskans are celebrating the first snow of the season, it marks the beginning of a tough time of year for people living outdoors. A group from the Lower 48 is working to help Anchorage’s homeless in a big way. SAVEarth is assembling 1,100 pairs of boots with the help of volunteers. Each pair […]

  • News

    Whittier police begin patrolling Girdwood on short-term contract

    by Eric Ruble on Oct 22, 18:12

    After roughly three weeks without any law enforcement stationed in Girdwood, there are now Whittier Police Department (WPD) officers patrolling the town. It is the result of a short-term contract between the Girdwood Board of Supervisors, the Municipality of Anchorage and WPD that lasts through the end of the year. After the contract expires, there […]

  • Troopers: Selawik man dead after early morning fight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 22, 16:47

    One man is dead and another is in custody after a fight broke out in the village of Selawik early Friday morning, Alaska State Troopers say. Troopers were notified of the fight at about 1:30 a.m., a dispatch explained, when someone from the village contacted them, saying 38-year-old Roscoe Cleveland had died after a fight. […]

  • Law enforcement raids Bethel house used by suspected drug dealers

    by Charles Enoch / KYUK on Oct 22, 16:28

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. BETHEL — State troopers, investigators and local police raided a house in Bethel this week and recovered heroin, crack cocaine, money and drug paraphernalia. They arrested seven people. According to the Alaska State Trooper dispatch, the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit with local State and Wildlife Troopers […]

  • News

    Night-drop kennels: A warm, safe place for stray animals

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 22, 15:58

    With the season’s first blanket of snow on the ground and temperatures dropping, a night outside is tough for lost pets. Anchorage Animal Care and Control (AACC) provides a warm, safe place if you find an animal and can’t take it home for the night. On the backside of the facility, the night-drop kennels are […]

  • A sign of respect: A kuspuk history lesson

    by Megan Edge on Oct 22, 15:01

    From attendees to politicians to members of the media, men and women dress their best at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) convention in Fairbanks. But dressing in your Sunday best is different in Alaska, especially at AFN. Here, people trade in their high-heeled shoes, suit jackets and ties for traditional Alaska Native garb, […]