Update: Plane crash kills two near Flagstaff

The two victims who died as a result of the airplane crash that occurred yesterday, May 28, 2013 at about 11:45 am in the residential neighborhood of Mountainaire have been tentatively identified. The deceased owner and pilot of the Beechcraft model 336 single engine airplane has been identified as 59 year-old Matthew Sullivan Mezger of Sacramento, California and his wife 54 year-old Mary Patricia Hughes also of Sacramento, California.

This ongoing investigation has revealed that the two victims departed Sacramento on May 25th and arrived at the Pulliam Airport located in Flagstaff on the same afternoon. They spent the weekend in Flagstaff and flew out of the Pulliam Airport on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at about 11:45 am with the intended destination of Bryce Canyon, Utah.

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Flagstaff - Coconino County Sheriff's Office received a call for an airplane crash near the community of Mountainaire on Tuesday morning.

The call came into the 911 Dispatch Center at approximately 11:45 a.m. on May 28 from a citizen in the area who witnessed the crash and fire. Before arrival of emergency responders, several citizens attempted to extinguish the flames and attend to the occupants. Two occupants of the plane are reported deceased on scene.

The plane is reported to be a small single engine plane, privately owned, and with a registration out of California. The plane had attempted take off out of the Pullium Airport in Flagstaff. The crash occurred south of the airport and within a hundred feet of residential structures in the Mountainaire community near the end of Tonawanda Road.

Fire crews of the Highlands Fire Department and the Bear Jaw Wildland Fire Crew responded to the crash as well as a wildland fire ignited by the crash. The wildland fire was contained at approximately 1/2 acre. Several trees were in the path of the plane. No structures were damaged by the crash or the wildland fire.

The identity of the occupants is still being determined and will not be released until notification of next of kin. Investigation of the plane crash will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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