Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Carrollton mother and daughter killed in New Mexico plane crash
Chloe Marie Jameson, 13, was a member of Long Middle School's symphonic orchestra.
CARROLLTON A 13-year-old Dan F. Long Middle School student, her mother, and uncle were among four people who were killed in an airplane crash in Angel Fire, N.M. Sunday.
Tony Lynn of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety said Chloe Marie Jameson, her mother Sara Verhalen, 41, and her uncle, John Philip Verhalen III, 33, died in the crash, as did her uncle’s girlfriend, Jennifer Woodward, 26.
Lynn said all four victims were from Texas. Only the girl and her mother were believed to have lived in Carrollton. The pilot was reported to be an aerospace engineer in San Antonio. The single-engine plane was registered in Scottsville near Marshall in East Texas where the father of the pilot and his sister and grandfather of the 13-year-old girl lives.
They reportedly had joined other relatives and friends for an outing at the popular ski resort in Northern New Mexico.
Angela Shelley, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District director of strategic communications, confirmed that the girl was a Carrollton resident.
Friends of the girl at Dan F. Long Middle School said she was popular at the school and that she was a member of the school’s symphonic orchestra.
Harvey Wright, manager of the Colfax County Airport at Angel Fire, said the four arrived at the airport on Thursday afternoon. At 1:24 p.m. Sunday, Verhalen, who was said to be an experienced pilot, and the three passengers took off from the airport but only went a small distance before being caught in a crosswind.
Wright said winds were gusting up to 55 miles an hour during the takeoff. He said the airplane took a nose dive and exploded and burned when it hit the ground.
“All that was left of the plane was the engine and a part of the tail,” he said.
He said the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the exact cause of the crash. One witness said the pilot may have been attempting to bring the plane back down when it struck a utility pole.
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