News Plane Crashes — 08 November 2017

EL PASO – A National Transportation Safety Board investigator arrived at the site Monday where a small plane crashed near the Hatch airport, killing four people on board.

The crash killed Kanequa Chancellor, 41; Anthony Deramus, 57; Christopher Howell, 33; and Malcolm Watkins, 25.

The three passengers and pilot were all members of the Destiny Family Christian Center in El Paso.

“We loved these people. We were totally like family,” said Adele Johnson, a co-pastor and co-founder of the El Paso church.

She said the group had flown to Hatch on Saturday to celebrate Chancellor’s birthday.

“She loved green chile,” Johnson said. The passengers spent Saturday in the village sightseeing and had lunch at Sparky’s, a restaurant known for its green chile cheeseburgers.

When they did not return as expected Saturday evening, they were reported missing. Johnson had baked a red velvet birthday cake for Chancellor and texted she’d bring the cake to Sunday services but did not get a response.

New Mexico State Police officers found the single engine Cessna aircraft Sunday evening at 5:30, about 330 yards northwest of the Hatch airport. They did not identify the pilot.

The cause of the crash is unknown.

“The community, of course, feels bad about something like this. What a tragic thing for the family,” said Patrick Banegas, Hatch village clerk.

He said two or three flights arrive every weekend with visitors.

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