Idaho


Sightseeing Flight Ends In Crash Bodies Of 2 Boise Men, 4 Children Recovered

The charred bodies of two Boise men and all four of one of the men’s children were recovered Tuesday from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in a remote, rugged area of southwestern Idaho.

Monday evening’s crash occurred north of Crane Creek Reservoir, about 60 miles northwest of Boise, during a planned two-hour sightseeing flight to celebrate Nathan Zenahlik’s 18th birthday.

He was the eldest of the children.

Lt. Col. Jim Ball said Idaho Army National Guard and Washington County sheriff’s personnel traveled to the scene after the wreckage was spotted by search helicopters Tuesday morning.

The bodies were airlifted to a nearby road and met there by ambulances that took them to Weiser for autopsies.

Ball identified the victims as Jeffrey Johnson, 37, the pilot of the twin-engine Cessna 303; William Zenahlik, 38, and his children Nathan, 18, Justin, 16, Briana, 14 and Demrie, 8.

Both Johnson and Zenahlik were chief warrant officers and Apache helicopter pilots assigned to the Idaho Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 183rd Aviation Division in Boise.

There was no indication of what might have caused the crash, but federal investigators were en route to the scene.

The weather was good at the time, with scattered clouds.

Idaho Division of Aeronautics spokesman Jeff Stratten said the plane left the Boise Airport about 4:30 p.m. Monday. It crashed east of Midvale sometime before dark.

“We have an eyewitness who saw a plane go down in that area,” Stratten said.

“The witness saw the plane go straight down in a spiral.”

A search began after the plane failed to return to Boise by 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Ball said Johnson was a full-time military technician assigned as an instrument flight examiner.

Zenahlik was a part-time guardsman.

The plane belonged to Dr. Dean Sorensen, a Boise plastic surgeon and former state legislator and candidate for lieutenant governor.

xxxx CRASH CAUSE There was no indication of what might have caused the crash, but federal investigators were en route to the scene. The weather was good at the time, with scattered clouds.



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