Carbon Monoxide Played Role in Guthrie County Plane Crash

GUTHRIE COUNTY -  The Iowa State Medical Examiners office says all four people who died in a Nov. 9 single engine plane crash in Guthrie County had traces of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide in their blood according to a preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday.

The single engine Piper aircraft crashed into a pasture two miles south of the Guthrie County Airport after reports that the pilot was suffering from a heart attack and a student pilot was attempting to land the plane at the Guthrie County Airport.

The victims have been identified as pilot, Edward Ralph Anderson, 49, Patrick Kellen, 36, Samantha Clark, 15, all of Le Mars, and Tyler Douvia, 28, of Merrill.

The plane was registered to C&D Farms II LLC., and owned by the student pilot and another person. Three members of the group were heading to Osceola for a hunting trip and left LeMars at around 3:18 p.m.

Sometime during the flight, the pilot became ill and the student pilot notified air traffic controllers at Des Moines International Airport at around 5 p.m. that was going to divert to Perry. Later, pilots of two other aircraft made contact with the plane and reported that he was going to attempt a landing at Guthrie Center.

By 5:30 p.m., the plane had not landed at either airport. The plane was found the next morning in an area composed of rolling hills and pastures south of Guthrie Center. All four people on board were pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation of the wreckage found a 2-inch-long crack in the engines aft exhaust muffler along with a “sooty tan and grey colored deposits.” Similar deposits were also present on the inner surface of the cabin heat hose that ducted air from the shroud to the cabin heat distributor box assembly.