How do you tell your 15 year old daughters that one of their close friends, her two younger sisters and their father were killed in a plane crash the night before? Please keep this family in your prayers. I simply cannot imagine...
3 Clovis girls and their father killed in airplane crash
By Barbara Anderson / The Fresno Bee and The Associated Press A Clovis High School student and her two younger sisters flying to spend a Memorial Day weekend with family were killed Friday evening when the private airplane piloted by their father crashed in northern Nevada near the Fallon Municipal Airport.
Kaitlyn Elizabeth Hook, 15, Rachel Katherine Hook, 12, and Mackenzie Elena Hook, 9, were killed when the twin-engine Cessna 320 crashed near the Fallon Municipal Airport. Their father, Naval Air Station Fallon Executive Officer Cmdr. Luther H. Hook III, 44, also was killed. He was the No. 2 officer at the local naval air station.
The girls routinely flew with their father to spend weekends with him, said step-father Pat Doles of Clovis.
Gina Gutierrez, a friend of Brenda Hook, the girls' mother, said Kaitlyn, was "an amazing athlete" who loved soccer. She would bring her mother coffee in the morning and pack her lunch. Brenda Hook earned a law degree about two years ago from San Joaquin Valley College of Law and is a child custody attorney, Gutierrez said.
Rachel, the 12-year-old, recently sang at a baby shower, Gutierrez said. "She wanted to be on American Idol." And Mackenzie, who had an upcoming birthday, was "the baby," she said.
Details of the crash are being investigated, but Zip Upham, a Fallon Naval base spokesman said the Cessna 320 crashed and burst into flames Friday night about a mile from the runway after a flight from Fresno.
Witnesses told authorities that the plane appeared to be in distress and was maneuvering erratically shortly before the crash. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane was manufactured in 1966 and had no prior incidents.
The National Weather Service said wind was gusting up to 40 mph at the time in the town about 60 miles east of Reno.
Hook, a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was a decorated pilot who amassed over 2,700 flight hours in an F/A-18 Hornet, flying from the USS Kitty Hawk and other aircraft carriers.
“The fact that it’s Memorial Day weekend makes the loss of our executive officer even more poignant,” Upton said.
The crash was being investigated by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.