Plane crash victims were UMaine students

7:59 PM, Nov 18, 2012   |    comments
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OWLS HEAD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- University of Maine officials have confirmed the identities of the three men killed in a single engine plane crash Friday in Owls Head.

Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity members and school officials say 22-year old David Cheney of Beverly, Massachusetts and 24-year old Marcelo Rugini, a foreign exchange student from Brazil, were both current students at the university.  The third victim, 24-year old William "B.J." Hannigan III of South Portland had just graduated from U-Maine in 2011. All three were members of the fraternity.

Investigators say a pickup truck was crossing the runway when the plane took off.  It appears the small, single engine plane clipped the truck before crashing into the woods.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on scene Saturday scanning for more clues.  Knox County Chief Deputy Tim Carroll says investigators are closer to understanding what happened, but there is more work to be done.

"Friday night, the University of Maine community lost three outstanding young men," says University of Maine President Paul W. Ferguson. "In their leadership and involvement in the UMaine community, they touched the lives of students, faculty and staff.  At this difficult time, our thoughts are with their families and friends, near and far."

DNA tests will still be done on the three bodies to confirm their identities. 

Any student affected by this event who would like an opportunity to talk with someone can contact the UMaine Counseling Center, 581.1392.  Faculty and staff with similar concerns can contact the Employee Assistance Program, 581.4014.            

For more information from the University of Maine about the crash, click here.        


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