This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Two married couples from Weber County died Wednesday afternoon when a small plane crashed on Interstate 15 near Riverdale Road a short distance from whe`re the pilot's brother died in another aircraft crash in 2002.
The victims were Layne Clarke, 48, and Diana Clarke, 46, of Taylor, an unincorporated area south of Marriott-Slaterville; and Perry Huffaker, 45, and Sarah Huffaker, 42, of West Haven, according Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce.
Layne Clarke had been piloting the plane. The four had planned to fly to Island Park, Idaho, for a vacation, Royce said.
Clark's brother, Corry Don Clarke, died in another plane crash in the same general area on July 16, 2002. Corry, then 34, was a passenger on an experimental, helicopter-like gyroplane when it, too, plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport. The 41-year-old pilot, Steward Thatcher, of Farmington, also died in that crash.
Wednesday's deadly encore shocked friends and family of the victims.
"Words cannot describe the feelings I have right now . . . . It's a sickening feeling to watch it on the news knowing it's your family," Justin Robins of Layton, the Clarkes' nephew, wrote on Facebook. "I'm saddened knowing that their kids have lost their parents. One was getting married this next month, another was on a mission to Germany, and two of them are doing a service project in Mexico right now.
"They were two of the most giving, service oriented, and spiritually fit people I know. They've raised their kids with good morals and a solid spiritual foundation. Diana and Layne you will truly be missed by so many," Robins added.
Perry Huffaker was Ogden's parks manager, according to a Facebook post from Ogden Pioneer Days. He had served as the Ogden representative on its Pioneer Days rodeo committee, which had just wrapped its 2017 event.
"He was dedicated to his family, his work, and his community," the post stated. "Perry was a vital part of our organization, and we'll miss him tremendously."
The plane a single-engine Beech A36 Bonanza took off from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, then crashed about a half-mile away, confirmed Allen Kenitzer, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
At about 1 p.m., the plane, reportedly flying south and failing to gain altitude when its engine emitted a loud noise, plunged 300 feet and hit the median of I-15, where it burst into flames.
Randy Paulson told KUTV News that there was "a big black solid red ball of fire. There's no way you could've survived it."
Truck driver Obdulio Ruiz said it appeared that the pilot was trying to land the plane on the freeway just before the crash, according to The Associated Press.
The crash closed the northbound lanes of I-15 and all but one southbound lane for seven hours, DPS tweeted.
The Utah Department of Transportation opened lanes at 8 p.m., leaving one southbound and one northbound track closed to clean up debris, Royce said.
Crisis counselors available for victim families, witnesses of plane crash
The Department of Public Safety's Victim Services said it was assisting Weber County Advocates and the Roy Police Department to set up a Family Assistance Center where witnesses and those affected by yesterday's plane crash could receive information and assistance.
A crisis counselor and victim advocates will be on hand to help anyone who feels the need to stop by or just talk about what they witnessed.
The FAC will be open Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Weber County Building located at 2380 Washington Blvd, on the first floor in the Commission Chambers. The point of contact for the FAC is Jaime Pitt, (801)399-8377.