Remains of all five victims recovered from site of plane crash

But the aircraft will remain in the woods near Yellow Pine until federal investigators can examine it.

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comJanuary 15, 2014 

A 27-year-old McCall man spent Tuesday night camped out near the site of a plane crash near Yellow Pine, keeping watch over the area where five people perished Dec. 1.

Arthur Stock, formerly employed as a machinist at a railroad, was involved with the search team that found Dale Smith's plane Friday on a ridge east of the Johnson Creek Airport. There were no survivors. All five victims were recovered by Wednesday afternoon and were in the care of Valley County Coroner Nathan Hess.

Stock was with Smith's brother, Dellon, when they noticed a wing from the plane sticking up out of the snow.

Stock's mother, Julie, who lives in McCall, said her son got very close to Dellon Smith and his family during the long effort to find the missing plane. Arthur Stock offered to camp at the crash site to prevent it from being disturbed.

"He just wanted to do it for the family so they have some peace of mind," Julie Stock said.

Stock was accompanied by fellow search volunteer Tony Bench and Tony's father-in-law, Ron Lundquist, according to those following the recovery closely. They were camped out near Johnson Creek Road, a mile and a half from the actual crash site, according to the Valley County Sheriff’s Office.

A group of Idaho National Guardsmen, sheriff’s deputies and members of the McCall Fire Protection District took part in a painstaking effort Tuesday and Wednesday to locate and recover the victims’ remains. Cadaver dogs were brought in to aid with that effort, said Valley County sheriff's Sgt. Rorie Sapp. The snow was carefully removed, and the site was photographed. The Guard contributed a Blackhawk helicopter that conveyed the group to the scene.

Hess, the coroner, said at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday that the last body had been found. He said he would need dental records and the assistance of a forensic dentist to confirm their identities. But he expected to be able to do that by early next week, and then the remains could be transported to a planned funeral in California.

"The plane hit so hard and broke into so many pieces," Valley County sheriff's Lt. Dan Smith said Wednesday, estimating it hit about eight trees. "And it was an extremely hot fire."

The sheriff's office won't be removing the plane from the site, Sapp said. Authorities have been sending photos to National Transportation Safety Board officials, who will study the wreckage after all the remains are removed. The NTSB will try to determine the cause of the crash and issue a report.

A funeral for the victims of the crash has been set for 10 a.m. Feb. 1 at the LDS Church, San Felipe Building, 4977 San Felipe Road, San Jose.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service