Sparks Couple in Alaska Plane Crash

A sightseeing plane crash in Alaska took the life of a Sparks man, left his wife badly injured and killed her son, his wife and a grandson.

David Mayer, 60, died Thursday while his wife, Mindy, also 60, was reported in good condition Monday at a Seattle hospital. She is suffering from a broken pelvis and broken bones.

The couple had been flying Thursday with Mindy Mayer's son, Eric Smith, 37, and his wife, Christine, 36, who died in the crash. Trevor Smith, 3, also died, and his twin sister, Allison Smith, was severely burned and was in critical condition in the same hospital.

The pilot and a tour guide survived and were listed in good condition.

The Mayers left Sparks on Aug. 11 for a sightseeing tour to see bears eating salmon.

Authorities said the single-engine seaplane hit a tree and burst into flames 25 miles north of Ketchikan, Alaska.

Eric Smith was a Reno High School and Vassar College graduate who lived in Tualatin, Ore., with his family and, with his mother, owned several McDonald's restaurants in Oregon.

David Mayer was a long-time Sparks resident and the brother of John Mayer, a Sparks city councilman. His sister, Janet Montelatici, also lives in Sparks.

The Sparks City Council had a moment of silence during the Monday meeting for David Mayer and the other victims.

David Mayer and his wife had homes in Oregon City, Ore., and Sparks. They had lived part-time in each city for the past 10 years. David Mayer owned the Greentree Patio Apartments in Sparks, a 36-unit complex.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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