A Sequim man is one of 11 survivors of a plane crash on an Alaskan mountain last week.
David Price, owner of Price Ford in Port Angeles and a Sequim resident, was on a charter flight about 40 miles from Ketchikan, Alaska, when the float plane crashed on Mount Jumbo on Prince Wales Island, reports the U.S. Coast Guard 17th District Alaska.
Andra Smith, a family-friend speaking on Price’s behalf, said he wasn’t ready to speak publicly about the crash but said he and his family appreciate the community support and prayers.
Price, along with his brother Bob Price, a part-time Sequim resident, and two friends from Scottsdale, Ariz., and Chicago, had been fishing in Steamboat Bay and were taking the flight to return home, Smith said.
Coast Guard officials report two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescued 11 people from the mountain at about 2,000 feet in elevation and were taken to emergency medical personnel for further care.
Smith said David Price reported some bumps and bruises and his brother Bob sustained a subdural hematoma where blood pools between his brain and his head’s inner-lining.
The unnamed friends were admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with various injuries, she said.
Multiple news reports state all victims were taken to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, with four transferred to Seattle for further care, said Mischa Chernick, communications manager for the Ketchikan hospital.
“Both Bob and David are very complimentary of the medical emergency people, especially the Coast Guard,” Smith said.
Alaska State Troopers reported that the plane’s pilot, Mike Hudgins, 72, of Ketchikan, reported the crash around 8:30 a.m. that morning as he was flying from Steamboat Bay on Prince of Wales Island to Ketchikan.
Anchorage Daily News reports that Hudgins told Clint Johnson of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska he put the plane, a float-equipped Taquan Air de Havilland Otter, into an emergency climb before hitting the side of the mountain.
The Juneau Empire reports Taquan Air confirmed the plane was one of their flights and it suspended all scheduled flights that day and was cooperating with authorities.
Hudgins told Johnson he saw rising terrain and tried to gain altitude but it collided with the terrain.
Coast Guard officials reported a preliminary report on the crash is tentatively expected this week. They also reported the weather at the time of the crash was about two miles in visibility.