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Planes Collide Over Lake in Idaho Killing Eight People

July 15, 2020

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — Federal and local authorities launched an investigation into the cause of a fatal airplane accident in Idaho. The preliminary investigation commenced by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) along with the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that two small airplanes collided over Coeur d’Alene Lake not far from Powderhorn Bay in Kootenai County. Eight people lost their lives, including a professional golfer and his three children. People Magazine reported the investigation could take longer than a year to determine how the crash occurred. Crews are still working to recover human remains as well as the wreckage of the downed aircraft. *

Kootenai Sheriff’s deputies received a report of the two planes colliding over the lake around 2:20 p.m. on Sunday. Several agencies, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, responded to the scene. The rescuers recovered two bodies from the water initially —the fuselage of the planes sunk rapidly after the collision. Deputies used sonar to locate the planes in 127 feet of water. Divers removed another victim from the water after the crash. Highly-specialized dive crews will be deployed to recover to the bodies of two other victims. 

The investigators did not disclose the victims’ identities. The Kootenai Sheriff’s Office confirmed eight people were killed in the crash. One plan carried a pilot and five passengers. Those passengers were the golf pro, his two young stepchildren, his teenage son, and another unidentified person. Those victims were aboard a charter flight. The deputies did not discuss the identity of the souls on board the other aircraft.

The NTSB began its investigation a day after the fatal crash by interviewing witnesses, talking with first responders, and examining the debris that was initially recovered. The NTSB investigators also agreed to work with the insurance companies involved to raise the wreckage from the bottom of Coeur d’Alene Lake. Crews anticipate they will need one week to find and collect all of the debris. 

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.