OSHKOSH, Wis (WFRV) – Tragedy strikes the 70th annual Experimental Aircraft Association Airshow, two crashes involving airshow attendees took place on the same day resulting in multiple deaths.
EAA communications director Dick Knapinski says authorities have identified the victims of the crash.
“About 12:24 pm on Saturday we did have the gyrocopter and the helicopter have a midair collision down at the Southend of the Regional Whittman Airport flight line, we have identified the two deceased who were both in the router way helicopter, the pilot Mark Peterson age 69 of Foley, Alabama, his passenger was Thomas Volz age 72 of Amelia, Ohio, “stated Knapinski.
“They did identify the victims from the t-26 accident Saturday morning, the pilot would be 30-year-old Devyn Reilly of Guadalupe, Texas, and the passenger 20-year-old Zach Koly Merano we do not have an immediate hometown on him,” said Knapinski.
Knapinski says authorities are investigating the cause of the accidents.
“The NTSB is investigating obviously somebody was in the wrong place at the wrong time, now we have to find out why they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” explained Knapinski.
EAA chief executive officer Jack Pelton pays his respects to those who lost their lives while flying.
“We’ve been working with the families that were involved and I think we did a good job of responding and making the first response and dealing with the families as best we could, it’s tough there’s a family here as you know and you never like to see anything happen to anybody and we’ll recover and figure out the next steps,” stated Pelton.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office says that the last victim has been recovered and that it is working with the NTSB to see if there are other things that need to be searched for.
Local 5 will update this story as more information is presented.