Three Rescued from Plane Crash on Matanuska River

Approximate location of Saturday's crash.
Approximate location of Saturday’s crash.

Alaska State Troopers report that they began receiving 911 calls just after 6:30 pm on Saturday evening reporting that an aircraft went down on the Matanuska River near mile 99 of the Glenn Highway.

As they were responding to the scene, people nearby, who saw the plane go down, responded to the river to see the aircraft sinking into the river.

They also saw that there were three persons aboard the sinking aircraft, that included an adult male, an adult female and a baby.

Brett Winterbottom of nearby Glacier View arrived on the scene on an ATV. Quickly, Winterbottom tethered himself to his machine and swam out from the shore and rescued the adult male and the 7-month-old child. When he got back ashore, Winterbottom handed the child off to Tammy Saunders, a visiting nurse from Texas and she rendered aid to the small victim.

Meanwhile, the adult female, who had gotten separated from the other victims, swam to the opposite bank of the river.

A pilot, operating a helicopter, touched down along the river there and retrieved her she was transported across the river to the other members of the crash. Shortly after she and the child were picked up by LifeMed, who transported them to a local hospital.