Update: Second person dies in plane crash bound for Delta
The BC Coroners Service has released the name of a second person who died in a small plane destined for Boundary Bay Airport when it crashed 30 kilometres west of Kelowna, near Brenda Mines on Monday (Aug. 13) afternoon.
Lauren Patricia Sewell, 24, of Surrey, died of her injuries in Kelowna General Hospital. She was the girlfriend of 30-year-old Jayson Dallas Wesley Smith or Vancouver, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
With the consent of her family, Sewell (seen at left) became an organ donor, said Lisa Lapointe, B.C.'s chief coroner, in a press release Thursday morning.
"The BC Coroners Service commends the family for the generosity of their decision in a time of immense grief," she said.
Two other survivors remain in hospitals in Kamloops and Vancouver in critical condition, but their identities have not yet been released.
The PA 30 Piper Twin Comanche airplane was flying over Princeton Monday, when it veered off course and crashed into the wilderness. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the accident, but the cause is still unknown.
According to his Facebook page, Smith was a graduate of Semiahmoo Secondary school in South Surrey, attended BCIT and was an industrial mechanic.
Lyle Soetaert, manager at Boundary Bay Airport, said Tuesday he's under the impression the plane is based at the Delta airfield, but couldn't confirm that, and did not know the owner of the aircraft.
Registration letters on the wreckage match an entry in the Canadian Civil Aircraft Registry. That entry is for a Piper PA30 based in Boundary Bay and co-owned by Rick Zyvitski of Comox and Maplewood Landscaping Ltd. in the Tilbury Industrial Park area.
When contacted employees at the business declined to comment on the incident.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria was first notified that the flight had gone down around 3 p.m.., when an emergency beacon was set off upon impact, as the pilot had not placed a distress call. It dispatched an air ambulance and rescue crews and the aircraft was found around 5 p.m. when a Buffalo search and rescue plane picked up the crashed aircraft's signal, said Rod Braun of the Central Okanagan Search and Rescue.
The crews parachuted into the scene, a few kilometres beyond the Brenda Mines turn off and located the wreckage of the small Piper PA30 Twin Comanche aircraft.
"Typically our guys will get onto the Transport Canada website first and download anything about that plane," said John Cottreau, a media spokesman for the TSB, explaining that will include looking into the pilot's certification and maintenance history.
"Then they go on the site, documenting the whole thing photographically."
From there a clear picture of what caused the plane to go down should emerge.
Police say the crash occurred in a wooded area about five kilometres from the scene of a float plane crash earlier this year that claimed three lives The cause of that crash is not yet known.
The South Delta Leader will update this story as more details become available.
—with files from Kelowna Capital News