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One dead, three cling to life after Okanagan plane crash Add to ...

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating a grisly plane crash near Okanagan Lake that left one man dead and three people clinging to life in B.C. hospitals.

Vancouver resident Jayson Dallas Wesley Smith, 30, died in the Monday afternoon crash, according to identification by the B.C. Coroners Service. The three survivors are in critical condition after sustaining life-threatening injuries. But once they are able to speak, investigators will want to talk to them, said the TSB’s media relations manager, John Cottreau. “We understand that they’ve been through a trauma,” he said. “So we’re going to give them time.”

For now, the investigators will gather radar information from air traffic control, look into the aircraft’s maintenance history, research the pilot’s credentials and photo-document the site, he said. They will take parts of the plane’s wreckage – including detached wings and a broken fuselage – for further investigation.

Since late 1963, there have been 325 accidents – including Monday’s – involving Piper PA-30 airplanes, the Aviation Safety Network database says. These include more than 50 fatalities in the past decade, and most often the planes have been damaged beyond repair, according to data from the network, which is run by the international Flight Safety Foundation.

In August, 2010, four people died in a Piper Comanche single-engine plane that crashed near Apex Mountain after departing from Penticton. The plane’s weight and the hot, thin air may have been contributing factors in the crash, a coroner’s report concluded.

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