• 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

  • Politics

    Survivors’ insurance bill likely to pass despite addition of municipal opt-in option

    by Eric Ruble on Apr 25, 20:01

    A bill that would provide funding for healthcare premiums for the families of state officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty is just a few steps away from becoming law. Various versions of Senate Bill 48 have been debated by lawmakers in Juneau for years. Last week, the senate unanimously passed the bill. […]

  • Politics

    Senate Leaderships defends education cut, amid threat of layoffs

    by Liz Raines on Apr 25, 19:52

    In Juneau, the Senate Majority is defending itself against accusations that its budget cuts will severely harm education in Alaska. This after the Anchorage and Mat-Su School Districts announced publicly they’re standing in solidarity against the 5 percent cut. The districts say more than $90 million in cuts to school districts and the university system […]

  • News

    Northern Edge to go ahead, along with continued community concern

    by Bonney Bowman on Apr 25, 19:26

    The Navy got the green light for Northern Edge 17, just days before the training exercise is scheduled to start. Northern Edge is scheduled to start May 1. It involves the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines, training in the Gulf of Alaska and areas of the Interior. The National Marine Fisheries Service issued two […]

  • DOC officer smuggled drugs into Goose Creek

    by Lauren Maxwell on Apr 25, 18:16

    A former Department of Corrections officer was sentenced to eight months in a federal prison on Tuesday after admitting he smuggled drugs into the Goose Creek Correctional Center. Jason Spindler, 33, accepted a plea deal, agreeing to plead guilty to one count of drug conspiracy and one count of possession of a controlled substance with […]

  • LifeMed EMT charged with distribution of child porn

    by Daniella Rivera on Apr 25, 18:07

    An Anchorage man, who works as a LifeMed EMT, is accused of distributing child pornography. According to court documents, Anchorage Police were able to download eight video files containing child pornography during an undercover online investigation in November of 2016. In a criminal complaint, APD Officer Torres writes he was able to connect the IP […]

  • News

    Melting snow uncovers Anchorage’s major pet waste problem

    by Heather Hintze on Apr 25, 17:37

    The signs of spring are evident at Taku Lake in Anchorage: birds chirping in the trees, a thin layer of ice melting on the lake and dog waste everywhere. “Right on the edge of the water. That’s where kids are going to be swimming,” David Jensen said. He volunteers his time picking up after other […]

  • Officer in passenger-dragging incident tells his side of the story

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Apr 25, 17:18

    CHICAGO – The physician who was dragged off a United Airlines (UAL) flight in Chicago this month was verbally and physically abusive, and flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest, according to the aviation officer who pulled the man out of his seat. The Chicago Department of […]

  • News

    U.S., North Korea face off in high-stakes game of chicken

    by CBS News on Apr 25, 16:45

    BEIJING — North Korea conducted a large-scale, live-fire military drill on Tuesday morning in yet another show of force. It was part of celebrations marking the 85th anniversary of the founding of the country’s military. While the North fired weapons near the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. and South Korea conducted drills […]