Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Names released in fatal airplane crash

PIERRE, S.D.  –  Authorities have released the names of two people involved in a fatal single engine airplane crash northwest of Pierre Monday afternoon.

A single engine Piper Malibu Mirage piloted by 59-year-old Eric Meyer of Steamboat Springs  left the Pierre Regional Airport around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon enroute to Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

At about 4:11 p.m., the pilot radioed Air Traffic Control and reported engine failure and that the aircraft would be returning to the Pierre Airport, according to the Hughes County Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency crews were immediately dispatched. At 4:15 p.m., the pilot called 911 to report the aircraft had crashed northwest of Pierre.

Responders found the aircraft one mile north of Pierre and a half mile west of Highway 1804. Both the pilot and a passenger were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The passenger, 76-year-old Hugh Alexander of Steamboat Springs was killed in the crash. Meyer was briefly hospitalized and has since been released.

The Hughes County Sheriff’s Office reported that the crash site has been released, and the Sheriff’s investigation has been concluded.

Federal officials continue to investigate the exact cause of the crash.

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