Eugene Peltola Jr., husband of Congresswoman Mary Peltola dies in plane crash
Alaska plane crash claims Eugene Peltola Jr., husband of Rep. Mary Peltola.
A airplane crash in western Alaska has claimed the life of Eugene Peltola Jr., the husband of U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola. This unfortunate incident adds to a series of tragic fatalities involving politicians and their loved ones in Alaska, where air travel is common due to limited road infrastructure.
Anton McParland, Chief of Staff for Rep. Mary Peltola, conveyed the news, saying, "We are devastated to share that Mary’s husband, Eugene Peltola Jr. — ‘Buzzy’ to all of us who knew and loved him — passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska."
Mary Peltola, who made history as the first Alaska Native elected to Congress in the previous year, was on her way home to be with her grieving family.
The family issued a statement requesting privacy during this difficult time as they mourn their loss.
The crash involved a Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, which appears to have occurred during takeoff after dropping off a hunter and equipment about 65 miles northeast of St. Mary's. During a press conference, National Transportation Safety Board chairperson Jennifer Homendy shared these details.
Eugene Peltola, aged 57, was identified as the pilot and the sole occupant of the plane. Two hunters who were nearby but not involved in the crash provided medical assistance to Peltola.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received a distress signal at 8:48 p.m. on Tuesday, initiating an investigation into the crash's circumstances. The crash site, located in a remote and mountainous area approximately 450 miles west of Anchorage, remains challenging to access, according to Homendy.
Details regarding the plane's origin and destination before the crash remain unknown at this time.
Eugene Peltola had obtained his commercial pilot's license in 2004, which required the use of corrective lenses. The plane's FAA registry indicates it was manufactured in 1952, with ownership attributed to Bruce Werba of Holy Cross, Alaska.
Condolences have poured in for Eugene Peltola. President Joe Biden, Governor Mike Dunleavy, and Senator Lisa Murkowski expressed their profound sorrow and celebrated Eugene's contributions to Alaska.