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ESCALANTE, Garfield County — The names have been released of two Escalante men who were killed Saturday when the plane they were flying in crashed into transmission power lines.
Pilot Paul Bowmar, 56, and passenger Nicholas Reznick, 59, both of Escalante, were killed instantly in the crash, according to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.
The crash took place around 3:30 p.m. between Escalante and Boulder, near state Route 12, Garfield County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becki Bronson said. The two men were flying recreationally in a single-engine plane when they hit the power lines.
Bronson said a transmission tower was also damaged when the power lines were struck, causing some power disruption, but she did not know the duration or the size of the area affected by the outages.
Bowmar's wife, Linda Mansell, said he had asked her to go flying Saturday, but she declined because she wasn't feeling well. Mansell said her husband likely ran into Reznick, a friend, in town and offered to take him flying, as he often offered plane rides to friends and neighbors.
"He was just a kind, generous person," Mansell said. "He was gentle and caring and always tried to help people out."
Bowmar came from a long line of pilots and had flown more than 3,000 hours, Mansell said. He also operated a machine shop in Escalante.
"I loved him a lot," she said. "There were a lot of people in town who loved him a lot."
Mansell said her power went out sometime after 3 p.m., but she did not know the cause. Throughout the night, information began trickling in about a plane crash, and she was contacted later that night by the sheriff's office.
Mansell said she didn't know Reznick too well, but described him as a "down to earth, country guy," who was very helpful to people in the community.
Bronson said the accident is still under investigation, but preliminary reports do not indicate any mechanical failure or hazardous flying conditions.
The crash is similar to one that occurred in May 2009 in roughly the same area. In that incident, a Utah man and California woman were killed when the single-engine plane they were flying in clipped some power lines and skidded into the Calf Creek Bridge.
"It was eerily similar to the crash that had happened several years ago," Bronson said. "The power lines, obviously, are very difficult to see."
Contributing: Roger Cary