Two bodies found in Washington state plane wreckage

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 16, 2015 1:43 AM

(Reuters) - Search teams found two bodies on Wednesday presumed to be the step-grandparents of a teenage girl who scrambled to safety after their small plane crashed into a mountain in the North Cascade range of Washington state, the Seattle Times reported.

Their Beech A35 had disappeared on Saturday en route from Montana to Washington state. Local officials told the Seattle Times and Bellingham Herald that the plane appeared to have crashed into a densely forested mountainside and caught fire.

“We’re confident that it’s the plane missing out of Montana," Skagit County Chief Deputy Criminal Sheriff Tom Molitor told the Seattle Times.

The lone survivor, 16-year-old Autumn Veatch was found on Monday and hospitalized suffering from dehydration, after she had walked off the mountain to find a road.

Veatch said she had tried to free her step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, from the fuselage but was unsuccessful, the newspapers reported.

Fearing she would not be found deep in the wilderness, Veatch decided to walk down the mountain, following water draining to a river, which led to a hiking trail, and finally to the road where she was discovered.

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Her survival story made national headlines.

Veatch, a high school student in Bellingham, Washington, was able to help investigators pinpoint the wreckage of the plane, Molitor told the Seattle Times on Wednesday.

The rescue crew that found the plane on Wednesday said the terrain was“extremely rugged and vertical," Molitor told the newspaper.

The crash site has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board, he said.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)