Ogden lowers flags in memory of employee killed in I-15 plane crash

Sarah and Perry Huffaker, far right, pose with their children. Photo: Go Fund Me

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.”

Perry Huffaker. Photo: Ogden City

“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.

A flag flies at half-staff at Ogden’s Municipal Building to mark the death of Parks Director Perry Huffaker. Photo; Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

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.

Diana and Layne Clarke, fourth and fifth from the left, posed with their children in this 2015 Facebook photo.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You can’t just lower the flag for just anyone. It destroys the whole reason why we do it. Be sad, it’s a sad situation, but don’t dishonor those amazing individuals who’ve died and actually deserve the flag at half MAST (not staff).

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