• 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

    Interior Democrats endorse independent Margaret Stock, party leadership backs Metcalfe

    by Associated Press on Sep 29, 14:50

    Democrats in one part of Alaska have endorsed an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, bucking their party’s own nominee. The Interior Democrats voted Wednesday to endorse independent Margaret Stock. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the action might result in any sanctions from the Alaska Democratic party, which hasn’t actively backed party nominee Ray Metcalfe in […]

  • Sports

    Aces’ coach Rob Murray named to 2017 AHL Hall of Fame

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 29, 12:36

    The Hall of Fame is a big deal, at any level. It says you’re standing with a select group of individuals. Aces head coach Rob Murray is there. The 49-year-old coach and president of hockey operations for the team was honored by the American Hockey League (AHL) Thursday as a member of this year’s AHL […]

  • Sports

    University of Alaska Anchorage to host 2018 GNAC championships

    by Dave Goldman on Sep 29, 11:52

    The list of big-time events at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage is growing. The 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships can now be added to the list. This is the first time the event will be hosted at the new 5,000 seat arena. .@UAASeawolves and @AKAirCenter to host 2018 #GNACMBB […]

  • DayBreak

    Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: Russell Hyde Merrill

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 29, 11:39

    This week in Alaska history, an aviation pioneer was honored in 1932 with his own memorial at the airfield that now bears his name — three years after he took off and never returned. In this week’s Story Time with Aunt Phil, author Laurel Downing Bill gives a history lesson on this legend of the […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Alaska Sound Celebration

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 29, 11:26

    A celebration of a cappella sound is coming to Anchorage and it includes the state’s premiere all-female group, Alaska Sound Celebration. The ensemble includes 70 women from all walks of life, singing in the barbershop style. Thursday, they joined Daybreak for a Mic Check in the Morning with a preview of the upcoming Celebrate the […]

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Fourth suspect in Anchorage home invasion murder turns himself in

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 29, 11:12

    Last updated at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 A woman who was shot after answering the door of her northeast Anchorage home last Thursday has died, according to Anchorage police. Paula Zorawski, 40, was shot in the head on Sept. 22 during an apparent home invasion on Alora Loop. She was pronounced dead at the hospital […]

  • Lifestyle

    Scientists use drones to study sea lions in Aleutians

    by Heather Hintze on Sep 29, 10:42

    Scientists are using drone technology to track declining Steller sea lion populations in Alaska. Every summer researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Science Center study the animals along the Aleutian Island chain. They use a variety of methods to count the sea lions including stationary game cameras and manned aircraft […]

  • News

    Fairbanks police investigate shots fired off restaurant roof

    by Associated Press on Sep 29, 8:42

    A Fairbanks restaurant worker suspected of firing shots from the roof of the business has been charged with possessing a firearm as a felon. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 28-year-old Damien Harris was arrested after police found 25 shell casings on the roof of the Food Factory. Harris was convicted of robbery in 2007 and […]