On Wednesday afternoon, a Diamond Aircraft DA 20-C1 plane registered to Utah Valley University crashed in Payson, near Wilson Elementary.
“[There are] two confirmed dead, a UVU student and a certified flight instructor,” said Brad Plothow, from University Marketing. The deceased are a male student and a female instructor.
The plane came down in the front yard of a house, avoiding both the school and nearby residences. No other injuries related to the crash are reported.
Soon after hearing about the accident, President Holland offered the following statement via email:
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that two members of our UVU community — a student and certified flight instructor — were killed when a UVU plane went down in Payson today. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. We do know that this is the first fatality involving a UVU aircraft in the long history of our aviation program. I know that we all join together in offering our deepest condolences to the family and acquaintances of those whose lives were cut short today as well as our friends in the Aviation Science department.”
In a press conference, Chris Taylor, associate vice president for university marketing and communication, said that this is “a terrible, terrible day for us”, and that the school “has lost two family members.” He emphasized that the aviation program is close-knit.
It is not yet known what caused the crash.
According to to Director of Aviation Flight and Ground, Rich Crandall, the area near Payson is the normal training area for flights like this.
More information will be posted as it arrives.
Additional reporting was done by Lindsey Linge and David Self Newlin