Two people are confirmed dead after a small plane crashed and burned Thursday morning in Butterfield Canyon. Photo Courtesy: UPD
Update: 2 dead in small plane crash in Butterfield Canyon identified
By Gephardt Daily Staff - July 14, 2017
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, July 14, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Two men who died after a small plane crashed and burned Thursday morning in Butterfield Canyon have been identified.
The deceased are Nicholas Thomas, 34, and Jacob McGoldrick, 37, officials confirmed Friday morning. Thomas was a captain with the Utah Army National Guard.
“His tragic death weighs heavy on our organization, and our hearts go out to the Thomas family in their time of loss,” the Utah Army National Guard said in a news release.
Unified Police Department Lt. Brian Lohrke said officials got word from the Utah Highway Patrol about a small aircraft going down in the area at approximately 10 a.m.
“We were able to get patrol officers up there immediately and also do a search and rescue call out and got search and rescue personnel up there,” Lohrke said. “We were able to locate the crash site which is at the top of Butterfield Canyon right near the border of Salt Lake County and Tooele County. There’s also a Girl Scout Camp up there that has an enclosed fence area and I believe the crash site was pretty close to that camp. The terrain and the fencing around the area there slowed down our progress of getting to the crash site but we were able to get there and we have everything we need up there right now.”
The crash also caused a small brush fire in the area.
“Our first initial rescuers gave us that information that there was a fire and the plane was on fire, and because of the brush around the area they were very concerned about that,” Lohrke added.
Unified Fire Authority responded to the scene and extinguished the blaze.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Butterfield Canyon is just west of the city of Herriman.
2 dead after plane crashes in Butterfield Canyon
By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted Jul 13th, 2017 @ 3:30pm
HERRIMAN, UTAH — Two men died after the small aircraft they were flying in crashed in Butterfield Canyon Thursday morning, police said.
Emergency crews responded to a report of a small aircraft crash shortly before 10 a.m., according to Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke. He said the initial call came in from Utah Highway Patrol.
A crash site was located by a Department of Public Safety helicopter about 6 miles up the canyon, Lohrke said. He added the crash was near a girls camp in the area.
Two men inside the plane were found dead at the scene, Lohrke said. He said the men were ages 34 and 37. Their names were not immediately released.
The crash ignited a small fire that was extinguished quickly by Unified fire officials, Lohrke added.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the plane was an Aviat A-1B Husky, which Lohrke described as a small two-seater aircraft. Kenitzer added the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Lohrke said crews were trying to protect the scene for investigators while also making sure the crash didn't spark a wildfire.
"We want to preserve as much evidence as we can," he said. "That's something with the fire extinguishing that we have to be cautious of. Of course, we don't want everything around it caught on fire."
Butterfield Canyon was closed as a result of the crash, Lohrke said.
SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities have identified two men who were killed in a civilian plane crash in Butterfield Canyon Thursday, and one of the victims served as a Captain in the Utah National Guard.
According to a press release issued Friday, Captain Nicholas Thomas, 34, of the Utah Army National Guard was killed in Thursday’s crash.
“His tragic death weighs heavy on our organization, and our hearts go out to the Thomas family in their time of loss,” the Utah National Guard stated in the press release.
Later Friday, police identified the other victim as 37-year-old Jacob McGoldrick. Police say McGoldrick and his fiance lived in South Carolina, but his immediate family lives in Australia.
The small aircraft went down near the border of Tooele and Salt Lake counties Thursday morning.
”What caught my eye was there was a yellow, smaller aircraft making a right hand turn that was relatively low into the canyon, but it looked like it was losing altitude,” said Trooper Jay Watkins, who witnessed the moments before the deadly crash.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.
BUTTERFIELD CANYON, Utah - Two people are dead after a plane crash in the Oquirrh Mountains Thursday morning, and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper happened to spot the aircraft moments before it went down.
The crash happened just before 10 a.m. in Butterfield Canyon. Police say the plane crashed near the border of Salt Lake and Tooele counties.
Trooper Jay Watkins with the Utah Highway Patrol says he was driving up the west side of the valley when he figured he would take a ride up through Butterfield Canyon. He says he’s never been up the canyon before and wanted to familiarize himself with the area,
Little did he know he would be the one to spot a fatal plane crash.
”What caught my eye was there was a yellow, smaller aircraft making a right hand turn that was relatively low into the canyon, but it looked like it was losing altitude,” Watkins said.
Then he lost sight of it. He drove farther up the road, higher into the canyon, to see if he could get a better look, but it was gone. Then, a cloud of smoke started rising. That’s when he called in the UHP helicopter.
“These types of situations are hard because sometimes when you get in these aircraft accidents they are not in the best of locations,” Watkins said. “You know, if they’re in a mountain, where we were on the top of a mountain, it becomes a pretty big challenge to, especially if it’s steep, to get down to where the rescue needs to take place.”
Watkins called what he witnessed “surreal.” It reminds him of the plane crash he survived on New Year’s Day 2003. He flew into a mountain and was stuck there overnight. A UHP helicopter was able to spot his downed plane, just like they did this one in Butterfield Canyon.
“My heart really goes out to this family, because I understand, I know the feelings and I know the emotion that’s tied to these types of things,” Watkins said.
As firefighters and some rescuers leave the scene, others are still working with investigators from the FAA to determine what happened.
“We’re going to be working with the FAA, where the aircraft originated from, who was on board,” said Lt. Brian Lohrke of the Unified Police Department. “As far as any licensure of pilots, the FAA is going to be looking into that as well.”
Trooper Watkins says he wasn’t able to make it down to the crash from where he was, and that’s something that will stick with him.
“Why I lived and why other people don’t is beyond me in some cases, but only the good Lord knows those types of things,” he said.
Police are still not able to release the identities of the two individuals who died in this crash. After they determine those details with the help of the FAA, they will still have to notify family before those names are released.
Later Thursday police stated that circumstantial evidence suggests the victims are both men between the ages of 34 and 37, though those details will need to be confirmed by a medical examiner.
Time: Around 10:00
Aviat A-1B Husky
Owner/operator: SWGB Aviation LLC
C/n / msn: 2110
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Butterfield Canyon, Salt Lake County, W of Herriman, UT - United States of America
Departure airport: South Valley Rgn'l (U42)
The small two-seater aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. Two people were found dead at the crash site. The aircraft was partially consumed by the post-crash fire.