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Iron County Sheriff's Office

Authorities identify 2 men who died in Cedar City plane crash

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Aug. 4, 2020 at 2:08 p.m.


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CEDAR CITY — Authorities have identified two Las Vegas men who died in a plane crash near Cedar City on Sunday.

Darwin Mao, 52, and Richard Essex, 63, both died in the crash, which happened about 8:45 a.m. Sunday, in an area about 5 miles south of the Cedar City Regional Airport, according to a Tuesday news release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office. They were the only two occupants of the aircraft.

It appears the plane struck a 300-foot communications tower near 6500 W. 4000 South, according to the release.

The plane, a single-engine World War II-era North American Navion, was flying from the Cedar City airport to the Strawberry Valley Estates Airport near Alton, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

As of Tuesday, the FAA has concluded the on-scene investigation of the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board has taken custody of the plane, according to the news release. The FAA and NTSB will continue investigating the crash.

No further details about the crash have been released.

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