News release posted on behalf of Ouray County.
Contact:Marti Whitmore – Ouray County Attorney and Public Information Officer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ridgway, Colorado – Ouray County, Colorado- March 27, 2014 - Recovery efforts today were focused on ensuring the recovery of the victims, as well as the fuselage of the plane, and any other remaining debris. Recovery crews have been successful in locating and retrieving the bodies of five (5) victims.
The Ouray County Coroner, Colleen Hollenbeck, has positively confirmed identification of the victims. They have been identified as Jimmy Hill, 48; Katrina Barksdale, 40; Xander Barksdale, 8; Kobe Barksdale, 11; and Seth McDuffie, 14, all of Gadsden, Alabama.
Next of kin of the victims have been contacted, and they are aware that the recovery efforts have been successful. The Coroner has maintained close communications with the victims’ family members throughout this tragic situation.
From this point forward, the NTSB and FAA will take charge of the investigation of the crash. The plane has been secured for the investigation.
This recovery effort has required the expertise and assistance of several local, state and federal agencies, as well as the efforts of plane manufacturer Daher-Socata; and commercial dive and salvage contractors Inland Marine of Denver, Colorado, and Beegle Aviation of Greeley. Ouray County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Emergency Management, the National Park Service, Ouray County EMS, Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department, Ouray Volunteer Fire Department, Town of Ridgway Marshall’s office, City of Ouray Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, as well as representatives from FAA and NTSB have all worked closely on this difficult operation. OurayCounty especially thanks the restaurants, lodges, and other businesses in Ouray County for their assistance, and San Miguel, Gunnison and Montrose counties for their assistance in providing additional emergency support personnel.
Photos and news release provided by Ouray County Office of Emergency Management.