ANTLERS, Okla. – Searchers recovered the remains of three people Monday who were killed in the crash of a twin-engine airplane in southeastern Oklahoma.
The search for a fourth victim was suspended Monday evening due to darkness. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Kera Philippi said ground crews will return to the crash site early Tuesday to resume the search.
The remains were found in a field of crash debris about four miles west of Antlers Municipal Airport, said Civil Air Patrol Maj. Charles Newcomb. Searchers also found pieces of debris from the aircraft including a wing and a transponder, the device that transmits an airplane's position.
Philippi identified the dead as: Jon Peter Olson, 48, of Hitchcock, Texas; Perry Keith Price, 49, of Oklahoma City; and Albert Wayne Radko, 60, of Yukon.
Philippi said it was not immediately known who was piloting the aircraft when it crashed. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said the plane was registered to Olson.
Troopers, local law enforcement authorities and Civil Air Patrol volunteers used four-wheel-drive vehicles as they investigated the debris in an area surrounded by farms, rolling hills and forests about 60 miles south of McAlester. Several mules also were brought in to assist with the search, Philippi said.
Some debris was lodged in the limbs of trees in a heavily wooded area, and the search moved slowly because of muddy conditions, Philippi said.
The twin-engine Aero Commander took off from Oklahoma City's Wiley Post Airport Sunday with a flight plan listing its destination as Orlando, Fla. The airplane was last spotted on radar about 1 p.m. near Antlers.
Poor visibility in the area precluded an aerial search Monday.
Heavy rainfall was reported in the area Sunday. The National Weather Service said nearly three inches of rain was recorded in McAlester during the 24-hour period that ended at 7 p.m.