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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Body of Whidbey Island plane crash victim identified

Sept. 8, 2022 Updated Thu., Sept. 8, 2022 at 9:06 p.m.

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel searches the waters of Mutiny Bay, west of Whidbey Island, in the days after the fatal floatplane crash on Sept. 4.  (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times)
A U.S. Coast Guard vessel searches the waters of Mutiny Bay, west of Whidbey Island, in the days after the fatal floatplane crash on Sept. 4. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times)
By Sarah Grace Taylor Seattle Times

A body found near the site of a floatplane crash in Mutiny Bay has been identified as that of 29-year-old Gabby Hanna.

Hanna, a Seattle attorney, was one of 10 people on the Sunday afternoon flight from Friday Harbor to Renton, which crashed in the Puget Sound off Whidbey Island. Among the dead is Spokane civil rights advocate Sandy Williams.

Hanna’s body was found shortly after the crash by witnesses who were searching for survivors. No other bodies have been recovered.

Her parents described Hanna as “fierce,” noting her love for travel and cooking. She leaves behind her father Dave von Beck, her mother Marcie von Beck and sister Jordan Hanna.

Dave von Beck said Thursday that Hanna was “an amazing person,” and the family had received a “massive outpouring of love and support from all the people who she touched in her far too short life.”

The Island County Coroner’s Office confirmed Thursday that the recovered body was Hanna and that the family had been notified on Wednesday. The pilot and remaining eight passengers are presumed dead.

On Thursday, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continued to search the area where witnesses reported the crash, using sonar to locate any wreckage.

Details, including the cause of the crash, cannot be determined until more wreckage is located, according to NTSB.

NTSB and U.S. Coast Guard crews have not been able to locate much evidence from the crash, other than small pieces of debris, due in part to the current and the depth of water in the area.

The bulk of the plane is still missing, somewhere in or near the estimated 150- to 200-feet-deep shipping channel where it crashed.

NTSB had not provided an update on its findings as of 3 p.m. Thursday, but a spokesperson confirmed crews were still in the area searching.

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