3 Minnesotans killed in small plane crash in Ontario


Three residents of the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area were killed Friday afternoon when their small plane crashed in northwestern Ontario, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Canadian officials identified the three as Nickolas Rajala, 41,his wife, Teresa Rajala, 40, both of Cohasset, and a friend, Lynn Bohanon, 37, of Grand Rapids.

They were flying in a Cessna 182 float plane (similar to the one pictured) when it crashed on the shore of Chappie Lake near Minnesota's Northwest Angle, according to the News Tribune.

Authorities were called to the scene when they received a signal from an emergency transmitter locator Friday afternoon. When search crews found the downed aircraft, two of the passengers were dead at the scene. The third was seriously injured and later died of her injuries, according to Ontario Provincial Police.

The three were staying at a fishing lodge and traveling from Crow Lake to Chappie Lake, according to authorities. Chappie Lake is about a half an hour by boat from Kenora, Ontario.

A friend of the three, Itasca County Commissioner Rusty Eichorn, told the Star Tribune they all loved the outdoors and were avid hunters and anglers. Eichorn said Nickolas Rajala was the owner of the plane and was piloting it on Friday. Bohanon was also a licensed pilot, he said.

Rajala “was a good friend, an accomplished pilot. Whatever happened is catastrophic,” Eichorn told the Star Tribune.

The cause of the crash is not yet known. Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, the Associated Press reports.

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