Fort Collins family killed in plane crash identified
Relatives of the four Fort Collins residents killed late Friday in a plane crash north of Glenwood Springs issued a statement Sunday identifying the family.
The victims were Jeff Makepeace, 47, his wife, Jennifer, 45, and their 10-year-old twins, Addison and Benjamin. The family’s dog also died in the crash about 10 miles north of Glenwood in the White River National Forest.
The statement from Chuck Hickey, Jennifer’s brother, said all were longtime residents of Fort Collins.
The four were flying from Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport to Moab, Utah, when the plane went down at around 10 p.m. Weather was bad in the area Friday evening, with Glenwood High’s football game delayed for an hour by lightning..
The Civil Air Patrol and a Classic Air medical helicopter based in Glenwood started searching for the plane Saturday morning and shortly before noon located it amid a large debris field near Baxter Peak, and 11,000-foot mountain. The Classic Air helicopter was able to land in the rugged area and the crew determined no one survived.
Garfield County sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said ground search teams reached the remote site Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board started its investigation Sunday. Sheriff Lou Vallario said the NTSB and others would return to the site Monday.
The family statement thanked searchers, “who braved trying and difficult conditions to reach the crash scene”; Garfield County Coroner Rob Glassmire; and Vallario, who visited the family to offer support.
The statement said Jeff Makepeace was born and raised in Naples, New York, and was the owner of Lind’s Plumbing and Heating in Fort Collins.
Jennifer Makepeace (nee: Hickey) was born and raised in Fontana, California. She was a stay-at-home mother. The children were born in Fort Collins and were fourth-graders.
“Our family’s hearts have been broken by this tragic accident,” the statement said. “Our grief cannot be defined and will be prolonged. But our memories of this amazing family will last forever.”
Reports said the plane was a Cirrus SR22, a single-engine plane that since 2002 has been the world’s best-selling general aviation craft, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.