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Oliver Frascona, 67, Tori Rains-Wedan, 41, Mason Wedan, 15, and twins Austin and Hunter Wedan, 11, killed in plane crash at Erie Municipal Airport in Boulder County, Colorado

Modified Date: 
Fri, 04/29/2016 - 11:02am
Accident Date: 
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Plane crashes at Erie Municipal Airport with 5 people aboard

Emergency crews have been dispatched to the Erie Municipal Airport after a plane crash in the area.

3 killed, 2 injured in plane crash north of Denver

Erie Police Cmdr. Lee Mathis says the six-passenger plane crashed a few hundred yards northwest of the runway, but he did not know if it was landing or taking off. A photo of the crash site posted on the Boulder Daily Camera's website showed the mangled wreckage of the plane, which crashed into a grassy field.

3 killed, 2 injured in plane crash near Erie airport

The FAA says a single-engine Piper PA 46 crashed under unknown circumstances.

5 killed in small plane crash near Erie airport

The crash was reported by a driver passing by the airport at 11:50 a.m. Erie Police confirmed that two people were flown to hospitals from the scene. Officials confirmed that all five passengers had succumbed to their injuries at around 4:30 p.m.

Five people, dog killed in plane crash near Erie Municipal Airport

Photos from the scene showed the mangled wreckage of the six-passenger Piper, its wings just barely attached to the fuselage.

5 people, dog killed in plane crash near Erie airport

Erie Police confirmed that two people were flown to hospitals from the scene. Officials confirmed that all five passengers had succumbed to their injuries at around 4:30 p.m.

Official: 5 killed in plane crash north of Denver

Erie Police Cmdr. Lee Mathis says the six-passenger plane crashed a few hundred yards northwest of the runway, but he did not know if it was landing or taking off.

Experts weigh in on Erie crash that killed 5

"All of a sudden, we heard this plane, like a normal plane that was going to land that was really low, and it just really started sputtering-like tut-tut-tut-tut and then, no sound," said Jan Culver, who witnessed the crash.

Five people killed in Colorado plane crash

All five passengers aboard a small plane that crashed near Boulder, Colorado are confirmed dead. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the deadly crash.

NTSB, FAA investigating deadly Erie plane crash that killed Oliver Frascona, 4 others

Frascona was flying with his girlfriend, her three children and a dog, when the plane crashed, according to neighbors.

Friends identify pilot of Erie plane that crashed, killing 5

Friends and associates Monday said the pilot of a plane that crashed and killed five people as a well-known Erie attorney who specialized in real estate law.

Family, pilot ID'd in deadly plane crash in Erie

Family members say 67-year-old Oliver Frascona, who also had the plane registered to his company, was killed in the crash. The other four people on board were identified as 41-year-old Tori Rains-Wedan, 15-year-old Mason Wedan and 11-year-old twins Austin and Hunter Wedan.

Coroner: Mom, 3 kids among 5 killed in plane crash

Officials haven't named the pilot of the Piper PA-46 who also died when the plane crashed about 11:50 a.m. in a grassy field near the Erie Municipal Airport, about 20 miles north of Denver.

Erie real estate lawyer, girlfriend and her 3 children ID'd as plane crash victims

Rains-Wedan was the owner of Educated Minds, which provides continuing education classes for real estate brokers. Mason attended Broomfield High School, while his brothers attended Broomfield's Birch Elementary last school year and started at Erie Middle School this year.

Memorial service set for mother, sons killed in Erie plane crash

A memorial service for four of the victims in Sunday's plane crash in Erie will be held this weekend in Estes Park.

Witness: Plane was headed wrong way before Erie crash

A pilot who witnessed Sunday's fatal airplane crash in Erie from the ground said he believes the aircraft went down after heading the wrong way toward runway traffic and aborting its landing.

Erie plane that crashed, killing 5, crossed in 'close proximity' with second plane, NTSB says

According to witnesses who spoke to the NTSB, Frascona's plane was on final approach to runway 33 while another airplane was departing runway 15 at the Erie Municipal Airport.

Witnesses said the two airplanes crossed in "close proximity."

"The airplane continued down runway 33 and power was applied 'as if to go-around.' A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane at low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude," the NTSB said.  "Witnesses said it appeared the 'airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall,' and 'it did not accelerate or climb.'"

The plane continued in a "rapid descent" until it crashed, witnesses said.

NTSB: Plane in fatal Erie air crash came in 'close proximity' to 2nd plane

preliminary report released Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board doesn't identify the cause of last month's fatal airplane crash in Erie but confirms that investigators believe the aircraft went down after coming in "close proximity" to another plane.

Preliminary NTSB Report

Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

Family killed in Erie plane crash files wrongful death suits, alleges 'very bad piloting'

Aviation lawyer Bruce Lampert, who is representing the Wedan family, blamed the crash on "very bad piloting." The lawsuits, one for each of the four Wedans, name Frascona's estate and the pilot of another plane on the runway, Joe Lechtanski, as defendants.

Jury: Pilot in Erie plane crash that killed 5 not negligent

But following a weeklong trial, the six-person jury that heard the case in Weld County District Court found that neither of the pilots was negligent, according to court officials.

Pilot of plane that crashed and killed 5 found not negligent

Investigators had determined that Frascona’s plane, which had been carrying the Wedan family, crashed after coming close to Lechtanski’s.

But the jury determined Wednesday that neither of the pilots was at fault.

Frascona was flying with his girlfriend, her three children and a dog. Though two of the passengers were still alive after the crash, both eventually succumbed to their injuries, leaving no survivors from the crash.
People Involved: 
Oliver Frascona
Tori Rains-Wedan
Mason Wedan
Austin Wedan
Hunter Wedan
Area: 
Denver, CO

Comments

4/27/1    6
For immediate release

A Weld County Jury yesterday ruled that Boulder attorney, Oliver Frascona, was not negligent or careless in the operation of his Piper Malibu that crashed on August 31, 2014 at the Erie Tri-County Air Park killing Mr. Frascona, Tori Rains-Wedan, and her children Hunter, Mason and Austin and Mr. Frascona’s dog.

Frascona was inbound for a straight-in approach to the north at Erie when another more powerful aircraft departed to the south on the same runway, flew into Mr. Frascona’s approach path and caused a near mid-air collision only seconds from Mr. Frascona’s plane landing.  Frascona attempted a go-around due to his approach being destabilized, but lacked sufficient airspeed and altitude to recover from the shock of the incident, and crashed.  The other pilot stated that he never heard Mr. Frascona’s radio call stating that he was approaching from the south, and he said he never saw Frascona’s plane except on his traffic alert system once he lifted off.

The families of Mr. Frascona’s passengers filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful death for the loss of Tori and the children.  A six person jury listened to eye and ear witness testimony, and two accident reconstruction experts during the seven day trial before returning a verdict that neither pilot was negligent.  Doug Barber, the personal representative for Mr. Frascona’s estate and friend of Tori Rains-Wedan, stated, “Three families suffered a tragic loss, and our hearts go out to them all.  We are grateful to the jury for their time and attention, and we agree with their determination that sometimes bad things happen and there is nobody to blame.  Some things just are accidents.”

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