CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – An Ohio family traveling on vacation died in Monday’s plane crash at Loveland Ski Area, the sheriff’s office said today.
The victims are James Kerker, 43, Amy Kerker, 39, and Lucas Kerker, 6. They are from the Raymond, Ohio, area.
The aircraft, a Piper PA 28-235, took off from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport at approximately 8:10 a.m. on Monday and was headed for Moab, Utah.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.
The plane crashed at approximately 8:45 a.m. on the east side of the pass, near the Loveland Valley area of the resort.
Witnesses told officials with the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Department the plane was trying to head up the valley towards the pass where Highway 6 goes when it apparently didn’t have enough power and made a sharp bank and then crashed in a heavily wooded area.
“We had to take all terrain vehicles in at first and then we were able to work with the Loveland ski valley people and find a different route in to get one of our all-terrain engines in from the fire authority,” Clear Creek Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Randy Long said.
The sheriff’s department said they were having trouble determining what the tail number of the plane was because the plane was so heavily damaged by the crash and the resulting fire.
The fire was contained by noon. The burn area was described as being about 40 square yards.
Amy Kerker was an advanced practice nurse in pediatric surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
“We were saddened to learn that we lost a beloved member of our employee family,” the hospital said in a Facebook post. “We extend our deepest sympathies to Amy’s family, friends and colleagues.
“Deb Pratt, Director for Advance Practice nursing indicated that ‘Amy was dedicated to our patients and families throughout her years of outstanding service. Amy was one of the initial nurse practitioners in Pediatric Surgery who helped build the excellent program we have today. She was known for her advocacy for her patients and families – she routinely went above and beyond to see that their needs and concerns were addressed.’ ”