POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 10:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 10:14pm
Marshall, TX (Longview News-Journal) — A single-engine Mooney aircraft carrying members of the Verhalen family, originally from Marshall, crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after takeoff from the airport in Angel Fire, N.M. There were no survivors
“Winds at the time of the crash were strong and gusty,” said Lynn Lunsford, spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Investigators will determine whether this played a role in the accident,” he said.
The State of New Mexico Department of Public Safety identified the passengers as 33-year-old John Phillip Verhalen III, the pilot; his sister, 41-year-old Sara Verhalen; Sara’s daughter, 13-year-old Chloe Marie Jameson; and 26-year-old Jennifer Woodward; girlfriend of the pilot.
St. Joseph Catholic Church will host a prayer service at 6 p.m. tonight at the church to support the family, who are parishioners there.
“They are such a generous, God-fearing family,” said Father Denzil Vithanage, pastor of the church. “They were so united.”
Vithanage said the passengers of the plane were in New Mexico for a skiing trip. He believes they were heading back to Texas when the plane crashed.
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