Local News

Cary Family OK After Small Plane Crashes Into Lake Huron

Posted June 27, 2005

— A twin-engine plane carrying a pilot and five passengers, including a family from Cary, N.C., crashed into Lake Huron Sunday afternoon after experiencing engine problems, authorities said.

All six were rescued shortly after 1:50 p.m., said St. Clair County sheriff's Lt. A.J. Foster. The pilot was the only one reported injured.

Foster identified the pilot of the 1972 Piper owned by Evans Air Corp. as Robert Evans, 49, of Marysville. Evans was taken to a hospital in nearby Port Huron for treatment of a cut on his nose.

The sheriff's department identified four of the passengers as a family from Cary, N.C.: Robert Caldwell, 49; wife Linda, 50; son Robert Jason, 17; and daughter Elisa, 21. The fifth passenger was Christopher Wallbank, 20, of Port Huron, Foster said.

"We lost the left engine and then we lost the right engine," Robert Caldwell told the Times Herald of Port Huron. "(The pilot) brought it down and it skipped a couple of times."

Caldwell said the group boarded the plane in Killarney, Ontario, on Georgian Bay and was flying to St. Clair County Airport in St. Clair Township.

Friends and neighbors told WRAL that the Caldwells were originally from Michigan and spent their summers at Lake Huron.

"I'm shocked they had the accident to begin with," a neighbor told WRAL. "It's welcome news that they walked away."

All six people aboard the plane were able to escape after the crash and were helped to shore by area pleasure boaters, the sheriff's office said.

The plane remained partially submerged in the lake Sunday afternoon, pending its removal by a marine salvage company.

The St. Clair County sheriff's marine division and the U.S. Coast Guard handled the rescue, Foster said. The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to take over the investigation of the crash.

Fort Gratiot is about nine miles north of Port Huron and about 69 miles northeast of Detroit.

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