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4 killed in small plane crash near Colorado border

Four people were killed in a small plane crash in San Juan County near the Colorado border.
Four people were killed in a small plane crash in San Juan County near the Colorado border.
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MONTICELLO — The son and brother of two men killed in a plane crash in southeast Utah says their small farming community in Canada will miss all four men who died Thursday.

"The tight-knit community of Warner is devastated as all four of the deceased were heavily active in local events and organizations," Jon Kaupp said.

Pilot Bill Kaupp, 64, his son Clint Kaupp, 28, and friends of the family,Tim Mueller, 28, and Ron McKenzie, 66, all grain farmers from Warner, Alberta, were headed to Albuquerque to look at a plane that Bill Kaupp was interested in buying, Jon Kaupp said.

Crews found the wreckage of the small plane about 5 p.m. Friday, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said. The plane disappeared from radar Thursday morning after leaving the Grand Junction Regional Airport on its way to Albuquerque.

Jen Knellinger, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Wing Civil Air Patrol, said the Piper Lance crashed in an area rutted with canyons about halfway between Monticello and Dove Creek, Colorado. A crew from Civil Air Patrol's New Mexico Wing guided Colorado and Utah searchers to the crash site after reading the downed plane's emergency signal, the agency said in a statement on its website.

Jon Kaupp said his father was "semi-retired and had become an avid hobby flyer over the past 10 years."

On Saturday, he announced over Facebook that his wife had given birth to twins shortly after the family received news of the accident.

"And from tragedy comes hope — shortly after receiving yesterday’s devastating news, my wife was told by the doctor that they had to do an emergency C-section. Born healthy last night, Welcome my baby boy and girl as the newest members of Kaupp Family Farms," he wrote.

He told the Deseret News that his brother and father had both been "extremely excited" about the impending birth of the twins.

"We would like to thank everyone who reached out through social media platforms to get the word out to the news, at which point the news did an amazing job of keeping us up to date and giving us hope. And we want to thank the first responders for all the hard and tireless work to locate our dear friends. The small community of Dove Creek was incredible with their offers of support," Jon Kaupp said.

Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Contributing: Annie Knox