JUST IN: Plane crash victims' names released; body of 9-year-old boy recovered

KELLEYS ISLAND 3:31 p.m. U.S. Coast Guard officials have ide
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

KELLEYS ISLAND

3:31 p.m.

U.S. Coast Guard officials have identified the victims of a plane crash near Kelleys Island,  including a 9-year-old boy whose body was recovered Tuesday.

Jeremy David Hutchinson, 9, of Lima, was located by rescue response teams. His body was taken to the Lucas County Coroner's office for an autopsy, according to Capt. Paul Sigsworth of the Erie County Sheriff's office.

Rescue dive teams are still trying to locate the boy's father, Jeff Hutchinson, 46, also of Lima. His other son, 7-year-old Joel Hutchinson, was recovered by a Kelleys Island resident after the crash Monday. He was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Hospital in Toledo.

The fuselage of the plane was also found about 11:35 a.m. Tuesday by sonar equipment, about 700 yards east of Kelleys Island.

2:36 p.m.

U.S. Coast Guard officials say it's possible a father and son are still alive after their plane crashed off the coast of Kelleys Island shortly before 9:30 p.m. Monday.

A Kelleys Island man helped rescue one of the boys, a 7-year-old, after witnessing the crash following the plane's take-off from Kelleys Island Land Field Airport. The plane was carrying a Lima family -- a 46-year-old father and his two sons, 9 and 7. The trio had been picnicking near Indian Lake and flew to Kelleys Island for the day.

Rescue teams are searching the water in a 100-square-mile radius. U.S. Coast Guard officials said the water temperature is 74 degrees. That means, they said, survival is possible for the missing father and son who could be adrift in the waters of Lake Erie. Meanwhile dive teams are scouring the 9- to 20-foot-deep water where the plane crashed off the coast of the island. Some bits and pieces of the 1962 Cessna 172C Skyhawk, including a wheel, have been recovered.

Capt. Patrick Brennan, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Detroit, said the operation is still considered a "search and rescue."

The search, which ended at about 2:30 a.m. today and resumed at about 8 a.m., will continue until at least the end of the day, at which time officials will determine what to do.

Chuck Herndon, 60, of 102 Laylin Lane, and his wife, Cindy, saw the plane just after it took off from the Kelleys Island Land Field Airport.

"It looked unusual," Cindy Herndon said, recalling the plane's behavior. "It was very close to the water. It went up and down twice and it headed toward the water."

After the couple saw the plane go down, Chuck Herndon launched a row boat and directed it toward where the plane went down.

He said that a boy's cry for help pierced the darkness. He rowed toward the cry and the 7-year-old boy grabbed the side of the boat. Chuck Herndon pulled the boy into the boat and rowed back to shore.

Cindy Herndon said the boy told her the plane broke apart, his seat belt released and he was able to swim out.

"He was just in shock," she said about the boy's condition. "I didn't see any specific injuries."

The 7-year-old was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center where he was listed in fair condition Monday night, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Watch for more updates on this developing story on Sanduskyregister.com and in Wednesday's Register.