The family of the pilot of the plane that crashed near Lillooet says he is recovering in hospital.
Spencer Neufeld, 20, is the sole survivor after the plane plunged into Tyaughton Lake shortly after takeoff around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Two other passengers, a 20-year-old man from Prince George and a 29-year-old man from Aldergrove, did not survive.
“Spencer is recovering after undergoing surgery at Royal Inland Hospital,” Neufeld’s family said in a statement. “We are grateful that his injuries are non-life threatening.”
Black Press Media has learned Neufeld was flying for Fort Langley Air. Scott McIntosh, president and owner of the charter and pilot training company, said the aircraft was not being used for a charter trip, but included Neufeld, a second pilot and a friend.
“It’s extremely important at this point to not speculate on the event and the events that led to the accident,” McIntosh said. “Our priority today is just to be there for the families that have been impacted by this tragedy, and we hope to have more information as details emerge.”
Police had said it is too early to speculate on the cause of the crash. The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
Neufeld was able to make it out of the wreckage on his own, but had to be pulled from the water.
“Spencer would like to thank the people who came to his rescue and saved his life after the accident, as well as the staff at Royal Inland Hospital for his continuing care,” the family said.
“Our thoughts especially go out to the families of the other people on the plane.”