Three Indiana men died in a plane crash outside of St. Ignatius Thursday afternoon, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s office.
Lake County Sheriff Don Bell identified the deceased as Timothy R. Arnold, 59, Grant O. Weythman, 49 and Allen K. Eicher, 65. All three men were from Evansville, Indiana.
Their bodies were taken to the Montana State Crime Lab.
The Federal Aviation Administration was at the crash site Friday and conducted an investigation, Bell said. The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to send an investigator from California.
The three confirmed fatalities in the plane crash occurred Thursday at 4 p.m. outside of St. Ignatius.
According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, the Montana State Highway Patrol responded to a call that the crash that happened at 4 p.m. near Pinehaven Lane.
Officials believe the single-engine plane hit a power line and crashed upside down in a hay field.
A backhoe was used to tip over the aircraft, and first responders found all three occupants dead inside the plane.
The deceased were traveling from out of state visiting friends, Bell said.
According to the Evansville Courier article, the three men released a Facebook message before the crash along with a picture of the three. “Montana here we come,” declared the photo Arnold posted after 5 a.m. Thursday.
A succession of comments wished the men well.
For hours, the comments came one after another. “Praying for safe travels, good fishing, and lots of chores to be accomplished!” one said, according to the Courier article.
Another comment stated: “Have fun but why does it look like you are in the world’s smallest car??” “Prayers for a great trip!”
The next comment came after hours of silence, unaccompanied by any explanation but full of understanding.
Responding to the emergency were the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol and Mission Valley Ambulance.
The Federal Aviation Administration sent out an agent who investigated the crash and monitored the scene all night after the recovered bodies were sent to the crime lab, Bell said.