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Plane Crash Victims Identified

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Authorities have made a tentative identification of the two people killed Memorial Day in that plane crash near Columbia. They were both from Nevada.

The Tuolumne County Sheriffs Department identified the two as 34 year-old Melani Toobes of Stateline, Nevada at Lake Tahoe and 85 year-old Vernon Tucker of Gardnerville, Nevada. The FAA reports Tucker was the plane´s owner…

Sheriff Sgt. Roger Dittberner says it appeared Toobes was piloting the 1968-vintage Piper that crashed and burned moments after take off Monday morning, less than a half-mile from Columbia Airport. Investigators have not determined what caused the crash…nor are they sure just where the plane was headed.

Tuolumne County Sheriff Deputy Dave Grant was killed in a traffic accident while responding to the plane crash.