OGDEN, Utah, July 28, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Ogden City flags are flying at half-staff in honor of those lost Wednesday in a small plane crash on Interstate 15. City officials knew one victim especially well.
“Ogden City mourns the sudden loss of colleague and friend, Perry Huffaker,” says a statement released by the City Council.
“In a fatal plane crash July 26, Huffaker along with wife, Sarah, and two friends, lost their lives in the accident. Our hearts are heavy with the grief from this tragic event, and City employees are tasked with moving forward under an umbrella of sadness.”
“Always there with a quick smile to lend a helping hand, he was well respected in the community and he had many friends,” the statement says. “He was dedicated to his work; and his love, care, and devotion were felt by all who knew him.”
Huffaker, 45 and the city’s Parks director for seven years, died along with wife Sarah, 42, and friends Layne Clarke, 48, and his wife, Diana, 46.
Layne Clarke was piloting the single-engine plane, a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. The Huffakers, of West Haven, and the Clarkes, of Taylor, were headed to Idaho for a shared vacation.
The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, doing a nosedive about a half-mile away, into the I-15 median in Roy.
After the explosion, little was left except twisted, charred wreckage. No one on the ground was injured. The investigation is ongoing.
Each couple left behind four children, two girls and two boys. Both were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and have been lauded by their friends and associates.
A Go Fund Me account set up to pay for the Huffakers’ funeral and to help their children had raised more than $24,000 as of Friday afternoon.
Layne Clarke’s death came 15 years and 9 days after that of his brother, Corry, who died at age 34 in a gyroplane accident after taking off from the same airport.
The Clarkes’ LDS bishop and former employee, Steven Cottle, has described them as great and caring people, adding that Layne was a good pilot who was passionate about flying.