An eastern Idaho family of 12 visited the state for a weekend hunting trip, but the Pilatus PC-12 crashed around 12:30 p.m. shortly after taking off from Chamberlain, according to Peter Knudson with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Here is what we know about this deadly tragedy:
Conrad and Bischoff executives among victims
Among the victims were Jim Hansen, Sr. and his sons, Kirk and Jim Hansen, Jr., and six other family members.
The Hansens were prominent members of the Idaho Falls community as executives with Conrad & Bischoff, Kyäni and KJ’s Super Stores, according to EastIdahoNews.com.
Travis Garza, president of the wellness company Kyani, said in a Facebook post Sunday that the crash killed brothers and founders Jim and Kirk Hansen. Garza said the crash also killed their father, Jim Hansen Sr.; Kirk Hansen’s children, Stockton and Logan; his sons-in-law, Kyle Taylor and Tyson Dennert; and Jim Hansen’s son, Jake, and grandson, Houston.
Garza identified the injured as Kirk’s son, Josh, and Jim’s son, Matt, and son-in-law, Thomas Long. All three were hospitalized.
The family had been in South Dakota on a hunting trip.
The FAA hasn’t said who was the pilot of the plane, but Kirk Hansen is a certified private pilot, according to FAA records.
Others injured in Pilatus PC-12 crash
In addition, three people were injured in the crash. One survivor was admitted to the hospital in Chamberlain, another was taken to Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell and the most critical was taken to Sioux Falls by ambulance, according to Brule County emergency manager Katheryn Benton.
The ages of the passengers ranged from 7 to 81. The three survivors are three men who are 17, 27 and 28 years old, Benton said.
Weather likely played a role in crash
Weather appears to have been a main factor in the crash, Benton said, adding that planes were unable to land in Chamberlain at the time of the crash.
The cause of the crash has not been released, but Chamberlain and central south-central South Dakota were under a winter storm warning at the time.
Chamberlain is about 140 west of Sioux Falls in central South Dakota.
Family issues statement
According to EastIdahoNews.com, the Hansen family issued a statement on Sunday evening:
The outpouring of love and expressions of concern for the welfare of the Hansen, Dennert, and Naylor families in the aftermath of the tragic accident on Nov. 30, 2019, have been overwhelming. The families wish to express their deepest gratitude for the numerous friends, family and Business Partners who have reached out with support, prayers and best wishes during this trying time.
The legacy of Jim Hansen, Kirkk Hansen and their father, Jim Hansen Sr., will be preserved and will flourish through their families and established Business Partners today, tomorrow and into the future.
Condolences can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While flowers are a wonderful expression of love and support for Leann, Rebecca, Coralie, and all other family members affected by this tragedy, the family asks that, in keeping with the Hansen’s goal of helping people in need, and providing opportunities for others to grow temporally and spiritually on the path to become Christ-like disciples, that donations be tendered to the established Caring Hands Program developed by the Kyani Corporation to help people in need both at home and abroad.
With love and deepest gratitude,
The Hansen Family
– The Associated Press contributed to this report
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