SOLDOTNA, AK (WSPA) – Seven people have died after two planes collided in mid-air in Alaska, including four people from South Carolina.
According to Alaska State Troopers, the planes collided shortly before 8:30am over Sterling Highway just northeast of Soldotna, around 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Troopers said the majority of the wreckage from the crash landed around 200 yards away from the highway.
The sole occupant of one of the planes, 67-year-old Alaska State Representative Gary Knopp, was killed while all six people aboard the second plane were killed.
Alaska State Troopers said the six people on the second plane included 67-year-old pilot Gregory Bell of Soldotna, 40-year-old guide David Rogers of Kansas, and four South Carolina residents: 26-year-old Caleb Hulsey, 25-year-old Heather Hulsey, 24-year-old Mackay Hulsey, and 23-year-old Kirstin Wright.
The NTSB will be investigating the crash.
“This is an unfathomable tragedy for multiple families today. The DPS sends a heartfelt condolence to all who lost a loved one in this mid-air collision,” said Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price.
“Troopers and partner agencies have worked together diligently at the scene and have reached out to next of kin to notify them of this heartbreaking incident.”