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Erie Plane Crash Victims Identified, Wreckage Moved To Greeley

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ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – The five people who perished in Sunday’s plane crash in Erie have been identified.

They are Oliver Frascona, 67, his friend Tori Rains-Wedan, 41, and her three children: Mason Wedan, 15, Austin Wedan, and Hunter Wedan, both 11.

They were killed when their Piper PA-46 crash near the runway at the Erie Municipal Airport, north of Denver. Witnesses said the plane appeared to try to land when it hit the ground shortly before noon.

Oliver Frascona (courtesy to CBS4)

Oliver Frascona (courtesy to CBS4)

Tori Rains-Wedan, right, with sons Mason, Austin and Hunter (courtesy to CBS4)

Tori Rains-Wedan, right, with sons Mason, Austin and Hunter (courtesy to CBS4)

Two were transported to an area hospital, including one by helicopter, but they both died. A dog aboard also died.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said the landing gear was stowed and the pilot was attempting to land from the south when the plane crashed.

Some witnesses said they heard the plane’s engine sputtering, but an NTSB spokeswoman said it was too early in the investigation to say whether that contributed to the crash.

“We’re in the preliminary stage of collecting the facts. Until we can analyze the facts, we can’t comment on that,” the NTSB’s Courtney Liedler said.

The agency’s preliminary report is due in five to 10 days, it said.

“We have not taken any factors out of consideration, so we’ll be looking at man, the machine and the environment,” Liedler said Sunday.

Crews removed the wreckage Monday afternoon to a salvage yard in Greeley where it will be investigated for clues.

Remains of the plane at the airport (credit: CBS)

Remains of the plane at the airport (credit: CBS)

Friends and neighbors said Frascona had a passion for flying.

“Yesterday morning, I watched him take off, I was right here, and everything looked good and normal,” said Tom Van Lone, who lives across the street from Frascona, whose house sits near a runway at the airport.

A partner at the real estate law firm where Frascona worked remembered the passengers fondly on Monday.

“Everyone on that plane touched the lives of many.  The law firm morns their tragic death.  May they all live on in the memories of those that loved them,” said Jon Goodman, who worked with Frascona for 21 years at Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein in Boulder.

There have been several plane crashes at the airport in Erie in the past few years. The last one to involve a fatality was in May 2011, the Associated Press reported.

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