RICH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A woman was rescued by search and rescue teams after her plane crashed in the remote mountains in northern Utah Wednesday evening.
According to the Rich County Sherriff’s Office, authorities from multiple counties were alerted of a Beechcraft C23 crashing in the mountains east of Monte Cristo in Rich County around 7:40 p.m.
The pilot, also the sole occupant of the aircraft, was identified as Alyssa McColly, 41, of Oregon. She sustained minor injuries and has been transported to the McKay-Dee Hospital.
A statement by the Rich County Sherriff’s Office says McColly first notified her family members via text that she had crashed and then placed a 911 call with the Cache County dispatchers. She was able to provide dispatchers with a GPS location of her aircraft.
The heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures hampered rescue efforts initially. Eventually, a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was able to reach McColly and bring her to safety.
Agencies that have contributed to the rescue include search and rescue members from Weber and Rich Counties, Life Flight, the Utah Department of Public Safety, the Air Force Rescue Center, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Utah National Guard.
McColly reportedly told investigators she was on a cross-country trip that began in Illinois. On Tuesday morning, she left Colorado Springs and made multiple fuel stops in Wyoming. She took off from her last stop at Evanston Airport and reached an altitude of 10,500 feet when the bad weather started to impact the aircraft.
McColly’s aircraft began to lose lift around 6:30 p.m., the statement says. She called in a mayday message, which was answered by a commercial pilot. However, the call was reportedly cut off before help could be rendered.
McColly later regained partial control of the aircraft and was able to land in a small opening in the snow. The aircraft is reportedly mostly intact.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. Weber County Search and Rescue volunteers will be assisting McColly in recovering personal items from the wreckage.
The crash reportedly occurred at around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 along Hwy. 39 in the Monte Cristo area, according to Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Colby Ryan. Officials dispatched a helicopter to her location and made contact with the pilot, but heavy snowfall in the area hampered rescue attempts temporarily.
The woman was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries. There is currently no information on what caused the crash or what the woman’s destination was.