10/7/2013 4:41:00 PM Plane crash victims identified as Gunsite instructor, wife and students
Review/Kathi Sabot A Sheriff's deputy cordons off access to the scene of a plane crash at Gunsite Ranch on Friday.
A burned tree and debris from a downed Cessna 340 airplane are part of an extensive scene after a tragic plane crash at Paulden’s Gunsite Ranch Friday
Heidi Dahms-Foster Former Editorial Manager
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has unofficially identified four people who died in a plane crash at the Gunsite firearms training academy in Paulden Friday.
James Parrish, 57, and his wife Lisa Parrish, 54, both from Terrell, Texas, and Mike Hughes, 65, and wife Joy, 63, of Paulden and Aurora, Colo. were killed when a Cessna 340, six-passenger aircraft owned by James Parrish crashed at about 12:30 p.m. Friday during a fly at Gunsite.
The Gunsite website on Monday published a memorial statement about the four which stated that Mike Hughes was a rangemaster who had taught at Gunsite since 1991. The Parrishes had just completed their sixteenth Gunsite class.
"We have lost four of our Gunsite family members...and we are filled with sadness," the website stated.
Sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said witnesses on Friday saw the plane clip some trees and then appear to explode on impact. Some witnesses also said the plane may have struck a radio tower on the Gunsite grounds.
Chino Valley Fire crews, along with Sheriff's personnel, responded to the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the plane departed from Bullhead City earlier on Friday.
"Initial reports on site indicate the plane was expected to land at the Prescott Airport and those on board were scheduled to arrive at Gunsite later in the day," D'Evelyn said. "We have not determined why the aircraft was in the area over Gunsite prior to arrival at the Prescott Airport."
FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials were notified Friday and are continuing to investigate the crash.