Two men in the Utah State University aviation program were killed Friday in a small-plane crash in Cache County, officials said — the third fatal crash to affect the USU aviation program in recent years.
About 9 a.m., dispatchers received a call about the crash in the area of 2684 S. Highway 23, in the southwest part of the county near Mendon. Witnesses helped law enforcement and other first responders find the Cessna 152, Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Mikelshan Bartschi said in a statement.
The USU aviation plane had two occupants, flight instructor Blake Shumway and aviation student Michael Carpenter.
"We are devastated by this morning's tragic crash and the loss of members in our USU community," USU President Noelle E. Cockett said in a statement. "Every student and employee is part of our Aggie family, and we know many individuals will feel this loss deeply."
The victims' families have been notified, and other aviation flights at the school were canceled for the rest of the day Friday, officials said.
Shumway was certified as a flight instructor and worked for USU aviation since September of last year. Carpenter was majoring in aviation technology/professional pilot and was scheduled to graduate this fall.
USU officials said they will work with employees and students in the aviation program to offer counseling and other services to help them process the loss.
"The sheriff's office offers its heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the occupants," police said, asking the community to "please keep the families of this crash in your thoughts and prayers.
Details about what may have caused the crash have not yet been released. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
This marks the third fatal crash to affect the USU Aviation Technology program in recent years.
- Last August, three people were killed in a small plane crash on Sessions Mountain in Davis County. One of the passengers, Kallie Edwards Peterson, 24, was a flight instructor at USU.
In 2016, USU aviation student Frank Marino De Leon Compres, 21, crashed while flying over an area of hilly farmland between Hyrum and Paradise and was killed.