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UPDATE: Officials say victims of plane crash near Truckee airport were from Tahoe City area

Published: Monday, Mar. 3, 2014 - 8:18 pm

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two people, both from the Tahoe City area, who were aboard a single-engine plane that crashed several miles from the Truckee Airport.

Darla Sue Farnell, 55, died in the crash and Ray Richard Farnell, 70, was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries, according to sheriff’s officials.

Rescuers aboard snowmobiles reached Ray Farnell and his Piper PA-46 Malibu plane shortly before 1 p.m. and found Darla Farnell dead. Efforts to find the plane had been complicated by mountainous terrain and as much as five feet of snow in the Martis Peak area, about six miles southeast of the Truckee Airport.

Team members provided medical aid to the Ray Farnell until a snowcat arrived with paramedics, then transported the man to a waiting ambulance.

Sheriff’s investigators and the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue team members remained at the scene to recover Darla Farnell’s body. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to begin its investigation into the crash Tuesday.

The search began about 11 a.m. after the Sheriff’s Department received information from the Oakland Air Traffic Control Center of a possible plane crash near the Truckee Airport. Authorities from several agencies, including the Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, responded.

Call The Bee’s Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more articles by Kim Minugh

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