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Community mourns, and gives, for crash victims

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An outpouring of support and condolences has taken shape online for the five people killed in a medical transport flight Friday night in Stagecoach, Nevada. Fellow emergency responders, nurses, friends and strangers this week are donating on GoFundMe pages set up for each of the victims to the tune of nearly $500,000. 

The funds are intended to help support those each person leaves behind, including wives, children and grandchildren. 

Pilot Scott Walton, who worked for Guardian Flight out of Salt Lake City, leaves behind a wife and three young daughters. He was the breadwinner for his family, according to sister-in-law Katie Maguire Walton. 

“He was one of those special people who lit up a room, who brought smiles to everyone’s face, who never met a stranger,” she said. 

Walton was joined on board by Care Flight nurse Ed Pricola and flight paramedic Ryan Watson. Pricola, a veteran and a 2019 graduate of University of Nevada, Reno’s Orvis School of Nursing, leaves behind a wife and two young children. Watson leaves behind a wife and newborn son. 

The crew was flying Mark “Bear” Rand and his wife Terri from Reno to Salt Lake City for a medical procedure. GoFundMe organizer Misty Gruenemay said, “Mark and Terri were big hearted, family oriented, proud parents and grandparents.” Their family is traveling from Elko and Hawaii to lay the Rands to rest. 

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday said the crash happened at 9:14 p.m., about 15 minutes after takeoff, as the plane broke apart midair and crashed. The PC-12 fixed wing aircraft had taken off from Reno and was traveling east to Salt Lake City. 

Despite winter weather, turbulence and icing, NTSB officials said the conditions would not have kept the plane from flying. 

To donate to any of the fundraisers for the families of the victims, visit these pages:

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.

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