Iron County Sheriff IDs victims killed in small plane; Utah County deputy, wife among dead

Crash investigators at the site of a small plane crash which killed four shortly after takeoff from Cedar City, Saturday, April 23, 2022. Drone Photo: Iron County Sheriff's Office

IRON COUNTY, Utah, April 24, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The four people killed Saturday in a small plane crash east of Cedar City have been identified by the Iron County Sheriff‘s Office.

The victims were pilot Steven Eatchel and wife Lindsay Eatchel of Springville, Thomas Eatchel of Heber City, and Danielle Deagostini of Sandy.

Steven Eatchel was a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Lindsay Eatchel was his wife.

“Deputy Eatchel has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 12 years and was currently assigned in our Judicial Services Bureau working in the courts,” a UCSO statement says.  “Steve and Lindsay leave behind four children.

“The Utah County Sheriff’s Office expresses its sincerest condolences to the Eatchel family. His kind manner and ever present smile will be missed.”

Utah County Sheriff’s deputy Steve Eatchel and wife Lindsay Eatchel. Photos: Utah County Sheriff’s Office

The crash

The call came in at 6:47 p.m. Saturday reporting a fire about five miles east of Cedar City, on State Route 14. Iron County Sheriff’s deputies responded, as did Utah Highway Patrol Troopers and Color County Fire personnel.

“Upon arrival, Sheriff deputies made their way toward what they believed to be a fire, and discovered the burning remains of a downed aircraft,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Department says.

“Paramedics from Gold Cross Ambulance, Cedar Fire personnel and members of the Iron County Search & Rescue were dispatched, and arrived on the scene to assist.”

The pilot and three passengers of the 2004 Diamond DA-40 aircraft were found deceased.

Planned route

Iron County Sheriff officials say the aircraft left Spanish Fork municipal Airport at approximately 2:45 p.m., and arrived at Cedar City Regional Airport at about 4:10 p.m.

After an approximate 2.5 hour layover, the aircraft took off at approximately 6:38 p.m. for a sightseeing tour of Zion National Park, and was following State Route 14, headed east, before radar communication lost the aircraft at 6:42 p.m.

“On scene, deputies stated, based off debris, aircraft orientation and damage to foliage, it appeared the aircraft crashed heading west from an easterly direction,” the ICSO update says. “Investigators from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, along with Federal Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National, National Transportation and Safety Board will conduct a scene investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

“Again, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends os of those who lost their lives in this tragic event.”

The plane went down on State Route 14 about five miles east of Cedar City. Image: Google Maps

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