ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Four people heading to a fishing excursion died when their plane crashed near the mouth of an Alaska river, authorities said Saturday.

A Montana family was on board the Cessna 170, which crashed about 6:15 p.m. Friday near the Kustatan River on the west side of Cook Inlet, about 70 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The plane was destroyed on impact, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Alaska State Troopers identified the dead as Broadview, Mont., residents Joleen Joy Dyess, 38, her husband, William Christopher Dyess, 29, and her daughter Taryn Marie Pitsch, 17. Also killed was the pilot, Christopher Copple, 43, of Kenai.

Troopers were interviewing witnesses Saturday and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation.

AP-ES-07-31-04 2106EDT



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