U.S. News


Silicon Valley Exec, Family Found Dead In Plane Crash

A plane carrying a Silicon Valley software executive and his family crashed in Idaho in early December, and the wreckage has finally been found.
Posted at 7:39 AM, Jan 11, 2014

A plane carrying a Silicon Valley software executive and his family crashed in the mountains of Idaho in early December — but the wreckage wasn't found until Friday.

"There were no survivors. Fifty-one-year-old Dale Smith was flying the plane when it went down in the central Idaho mountains on Dec. 1. His son, daughter and their spouses were also on board." (Via KNBC)

Smith, who was the co-founder and chief executive of the data storage firm SerialTek, was reportedly taking his family back home to Montana after spending Thanksgiving in Oregon when the plane went down. (Via KTVB)

According to NBC, Smith had radioed air traffic controllers about some engine trouble before they lost contact with him completely.

​The Idaho Statesman reports an official search for the missing plane reportedly began immediately, but it was called off in mid-December because of the rough terrain and bad weather conditions.

But the family continued to search for their missing loved ones without the help of authorities. Smith's wife says her husband's brother was one of the rescuers who found the crash site.

"He said they had been wading through waist-deep snow, but at 1:15, he said, 'I found the plane.' It all went very, very fast, within seconds after his last communication." (Via KNTV)

According to Smith's wife, the plane was found less than two hours before the search team planned to stop looking for the "foreseeable future." (Via KTVM)

Officials say the plane is in pieces and some parts have yet to be located. And because of a severe storm in the forecast, recovery efforts might be delayed by several days.