Investigators warn hikers not to remove wreckage, remains from plane crash site - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Investigators warn hikers not to remove wreckage, remains from plane crash site

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Posted: Monday, November 28, 2011 1:21 pm | Updated: 8:59 am, Tue Nov 29, 2011.

Crash investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and officials from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office are requesting that hikers in the Superstition Mountains not remove any remaining wreckage or human remains from Wednesday's plane crash that left six dead near the Flat Iron trails.

After the trails were re-opened, officers received a call from a hiker who visited the scene and recovered a bone fragment. He brought the fragment to the Lost Dutchman ranger station and left it with no contact information.

According to a PCSO statement, hikers should stay away from the crash site as it remains a safety concern.

The NTSB, PCSO, the Federal Aviation Administration and Arizona Department of Public Safety have attempted to recover everything possible, but given the nature of the crash and extremely difficult terrain to work in, there will be items investigators missed or cannot recover. Hikers are being asked to be respectful and treat the crash site as a living memorial.

Do not touch or remove anything from the crash site, the statement said. If hikers discover anything from the wreckage, they are asked to call the Pinal County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-420-8689.

About 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, a plane that had taken off from Mesa's Falcon Field airport crashed into the Superstition Mountains, killing all six people who were aboard.

The victims were identified as Shawn Perry, 39, of Safford; Morgan Perry, 9, Logan Perry, 8, and Luke Perry, 6, all of Gold Canyon; Russell Hardy, 31, of Thatcher; and Joseph Hardwick, 22, of Safford.

The Perry children lived with their mother in Gold Canyon, and were traveling with their father to spend Thanksgiving with him in Safford, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

Hardy was the co-owner of the Rockwell AC69 twin-engine plane, and Hardwick was a plane mechanic who was engaged to be married.

A website has been set up if anyone wishes to help the Perry family with funeral expenses or other forms of support at www.perryfamily.org.

A Facebook page, Perry Family Memorial, also has been set up with more than 2,200 people registering on it as of Monday.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6533 or msakal@evtrib.com

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