A Havre family is sharing memories of their loved ones who passed away in a plane crash late last week in Tooele County, Utah.
According to the family, the plane that crashed in the Deseret Peak Wilderness late Thursday night, sparking the Morgan Canyon Fire, was carrying two people headed to California for a family Father’s Day celebration.
“My mom and my daughter, they were very, very special to me,” an emotional Alexandra Seigel said to FOX 13 on Monday. “They were a really big part of my world.”
Seigel’s mother and 6-year-old daughter Elise Lowrance died in the crash. Her mother, 51-year-old Virginia Seigel, was an experienced pilot whose time in the sky began as a helicopter pilot for the United States Army.
“She flew in the military for about 15 years, but she flew helicopters,” Seigel said. "She was a really good pilot, she flew in combat. It’s very unexpected.”
According to Seigel, the flight itinerary included several stops, including Idaho Falls and Cedar City. “My mom, she messaged me when she got to Idaho Falls at about 7 o’clock at night, and about 9 o’clock she took off and she was supposed to message us when she got to her next stop which was Cedar City, Utah,” Seigel said.
But she never heard from her mother after Thursday night. She alerted a friend who was helping with their flight planning, who then alerted the Federal Aviation Administration, who began to look for the plane. After a day of searching, Seigel got a call from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and learned of the crash on Saturday.
“I know that it happened, I understand that it happened, I know that it’s real, but it’s so hard for me to even really, really believe that those people aren’t with me anymore because they were the most alive people I’ve ever met,” said Seigel. “It just seems so wrong that they’re not here with us.”
Her daughter Elise missed Kindergarten last year due to the pandemic and was excited for the upcoming school year. Alex says that Elise was always happy, loved becoming an older sister and enjoyed playing the piano.
“Probably one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met, she actually reminded me a lot of my mom. They had a really close bond,” said Seigel. “They were both so full of life. I don’t think anyone is more full of life than Elise was.”
Both Virginia and Elise leave behind a large support system filled with family and friends in Havre.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.