Victims of northern Colorado plane crash ID’d as Denver-area men
February 28, 2017
An Arvada man and a Denver man died when the plane they were in crashed into a reservoir near Berthoud, according to the Larimer County Coroner's Office.
The men were transported to an area hospital and were pronounced dead. Autopsies were performed Monday afternoon, and the men were identified as Patrick Blankemeier, 58, of Arvada and James P. Griffith, 23, of Denver, according to a news release issued Tuesday from the coroner's office.
Authorities say the men were in a single-engine Cessna 172 in the frigid water of Culver Reservoir near Berthoud for 50 minutes before divers were able to pull them out Monday morning. They were taken to the hospital where they were declared dead. Both men died of blunt force trauma from the crash.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer told The Denver Post he didn't know where the plane took off from or was heading.
He said the crash happened under "unknown circumstances" and local authorities reported only two people were aboard.
Blankemeier's LinkedIn page lists his profession as chief flight instructor at McAir Aviation Inc. in Broomfield. A Cessna with the same tail number as the one pulled from the reservoir was part of the McCair Aviation fleet, according to the Post.