Bodies of 5 Gadsden plane crash victims recovered in CO reservoi - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Bodies of 5 Gadsden plane crash victims recovered in CO reservoir

Crews successfully recovered the fuselage of the Gadsden plane on Thursday. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page Crews successfully recovered the fuselage of the Gadsden plane on Thursday. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page
Crews dragged the plane wreckage underwater, then brought to the surface near a dock. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page Crews dragged the plane wreckage underwater, then brought to the surface near a dock. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page
Clockwise from top left: Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander, Seth McDuffie, and pilot Jimmy Hill. Source: Family photos Clockwise from top left: Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander, Seth McDuffie, and pilot Jimmy Hill. Source: Family photos
Recovery efforts for the plane were underway Thursday. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page Recovery efforts for the plane were underway Thursday. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page
A piece of the plane was recovered from a reservoir in Colorado. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page A piece of the plane was recovered from a reservoir in Colorado. Source: Ouray County Emergency Management Facebook page
OURAY COUNTY, COLORADO (WBRC) -

Rescue crews have recovered the bodies of five people from Gadsden who died in a plane crash in a Colorado reservoir.

The plane crashed Saturday afternoon into a reservoir south of the Montrose Regional Airport.

The Ouray County coroner positively identified the bodies as: the pilot, Jimmy Hill, 48,  passengers Katrina Barksdale, 40, her sons Kobe Barksdale, 11, and Xander Barksdale, 8, and Katrina's nephew Seth McDuffie, 14. Jimmy Hill and Katrina Barksdale were described as friends.

Authorities said the bodies of Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander and her nephew Seth McDuffie will be returned to Alabama.

Hill's body will undergo an autopsy by the National Transportation Safety Board, then his body will also be returned to Alabama.

Authorities announced earlier this week they had located five bodies amid the plane's wreckage in the water. But due to the orientation of the wreckage and damage to the plane, divers could not recover the victims or the rest of the plane until the wreckage was brought to shore.

Thursday, divers worked to secure the plane for transportation to the shore, Ouray County Public Information Officer Marti Whitmore said. The wreckage was dragged under the water, then brought to the surface near a dock.

The weather held out long enough for recovery teams to do their job. 

"High winds would have been a deal breaker. It would have been a safety issue so we were very, very grateful that the winds died down.  We had very strong winds last night. They died down this morning," Whitmore said Thursday.

"We offer our condolences, our sincere condolences to the families," Whitmore said. "While all of these people are from Alabama, I think this community has felt the loss very deeply as well."

A special dive team was called in to assist in the plane's recovery. The altitude of the reservoir is 6,800 feet above sea level. That height, combined with the cold water and depth of the wreckage, will make the recovery more challenging.

The people in the plane were heading to Colorado for spring break on Saturday when the plane crashed around 1:50 p.m. local time.

Preliminary information from the NTBS indicates Hill reported the plane was in a spin before it lost communication and crashed into the water.

Witnesses described hearing the engine cut in and out, then going dead. Between eight to 10 people saw the plane spiral out of the clouds and go into the reservoir.

Pilot Jimmy Hill was a prominent businessman who owned Gadsden Tool, Gadsden Aviation and the Airport Café.

Brothers Kobe and Xander were students at Mitchell Elementary School in Gadsden. The community held a memorial for them and their mom Katrina at the school on Sunday.

A memorial for Seth McDuffie, an eighth grader at Westbrook Christian School in Rainbow City, was also held at his school on Sunday.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Now that the bodies have been recovered, the NTSB and FAA will take over the investigation into the plane's crash, Ouray County officials said. The plane's fuselage has been secured for their investigation.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    Saturday, February 24 2018 10:35 AM EST2018-02-24 15:35:23 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 3:08 PM EST2018-02-24 20:08:42 GMT
    The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

    More >>

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

    More >>
  • Attorneys seek information on aborted Alabama execution

    Attorneys seek information on aborted Alabama execution

    Friday, February 23 2018 3:04 AM EST2018-02-23 08:04:29 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 3:08 PM EST2018-02-24 20:08:26 GMT
    (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP). This image provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows Doyle Lee Hamm, an inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 in Alabama. Alabama is set to execute Hamm, who argues his past dr...(Alabama Department of Corrections via AP). This image provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows Doyle Lee Hamm, an inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 in Alabama. Alabama is set to execute Hamm, who argues his past dr...
    Alabama postpones execution of inmate with damaged veins.More >>
    Alabama postpones execution of inmate with damaged veins.More >>
  • NRA, Florida faces backlash after latest school shooting

    NRA, Florida faces backlash after latest school shooting

    Saturday, February 24 2018 4:36 AM EST2018-02-24 09:36:41 GMT
    Saturday, February 24 2018 3:08 PM EST2018-02-24 20:08:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, BlackRock headquarters is shown in New York. U.S. companies are taking a closer look at investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry and its public face, the ...(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, BlackRock headquarters is shown in New York. U.S. companies are taking a closer look at investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry and its public face, the ...

    NRA faces corporate backlash after latest school shooting.

    More >>

    NRA faces corporate backlash after latest school shooting.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly