3 die in plane crash; was en route from Roche Harbor to Auburn

Three people died Sunday when their Cessna 172, which had left Roche Harbor for Auburn, crashed in a rugged area nine miles north of Arlington.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer identified the victims as pilot Brenda Houston, 47, of Enumclaw; her daughter, Elizabeth M. Crews, 10, also of Enumclaw; and Dr. Virgil Becker, 54, of Auburn.

Kenitzer said Houston was an experienced pilot with several thousand pilot hours.

News reports stated that Skagit County Sheriff’s deputies were notified at 8:35 p.m. Sunday by the state Department of Transportation of a downed aircraft in the area of Bald Mountain. Personnel from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island helped locate the plane and victims, using night-vision gear. They confirmed that the victims were dead.

A ground search crew was expected Monday to recover the bodies.

The cause of the crash was unknown Monday. The Seattle Times reported the plane was registered to Crest Airpark in Kent.

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