6 Killed In Cessna Crash In Northern Wisconsin

NTSB Says One Possibility Is That The Plane Broke Up In The Air


A plane crash in northern Wisconsin claimed the lives of six people over the weekend. The National Transportation Safety Board says the debris field suggests it’s possible the plane may have broken up in the air.

The Price County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of six men who died when a small Cessna 421 crashed in the town of Catawba early Saturday morning. Local officials are wrapping up their investigation and turning it over to the NTSB.

The victims have been identified as Kevin James King, 70, Thomas DeMauro, 56, his son Kyle DeMauro, 21, James Francis, 63, Charles Tomlitz, 69, George Tomlitz, 45.

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National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said the debris field “raises the possibility” that the plane may have broken up in the air. He said the size of the debris field is unclear at this time.

“We document the wreckage and the action scene,” he said. “We interview any witnesses and we look at radar, air traffic control tapes and meteorological information.”

The plane crashed after a report to air traffic controllers of weather phenomenon in the area. Weiss said they’ll also examine cell phones and GPS units. Preliminary findings of the agency’s investigation will be made available within the next 10 business days.

“Then, we do a more extensive post on-scene investigation that looks at aircraft and maintenance records, pilot certification, the license and ratings, recency of flight experience and total hours, and medical certificate – currency and issues,” said Weiss. “If they’re fatally injured, as in this case, autopsy and toxicology reports.”

The group was traveling from Waukegan, Illinois, to Winnipeg, Canada, for a fishing trip. The NTSB expects to release a full report on the crash, along with an analysis and finding of probable cause, in the next year.

Weiss said the crash was one of seven that have occurred so far over the holiday weekend.