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Montana woman, granddaughter killed in Utah plane crash

June 22, 2021 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A family member has identified the victims of a plane crash in Utah last week as a Montana woman and her 6-year-old granddaughter.

Alexandria Seigel of Havre, Montana, tells KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City that her mother, Virginia Seigel, 51, and her daughter, Elise Lawrence, were in the plane that crashed in the Deseret Peak Wilderness west of Salt Lake City last Thursday, sparking a wildfire.

Seigel and Elise were traveling to California and had made a stop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, about 7 p.m. Thursday. They left about 9 p.m., headed for Cedar City, Utah, Alexandria Seigel said.

When she didn’t hear from her mother, Seigel contacted a friend who was helping with their flight planning and the friend alerted the Federal Aviation Administration.

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“I know that it happened, I understand that it happened, I know that it’s real, but it’s so hard for me to even really, really believe that those people aren’t with me anymore because they were the most alive people I’ve ever met,” Alexandria Seigel told KSTU in a video interview on Monday. “It just seems so wrong that they’re not here with us.”

Virginia Seigel flew helicopters in the military for about 15 years, Alexandra Seigel said.

“She loved to take the kids, all my kids, flying,” Seigel said. “She was amazing.”

Elise loved to play the piano and was looking forward to starting school in the fall after missing kindergarten last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Probably one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met, she actually reminded me a lot of my mom,” Seigel said of her daughter. “They had a really close bond.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.