By: Heartland News & Associated Press
VIBURNUM, Mo. -- An Iowa couple and their son are identified today as the victims of a small-plane crash yesterday in a remote part of Southeast Missouri outside of Viburnum.
Washington County Sheriff Kevin Schroeder says the pilot was Randy Wheeler of Charter Oak, Iowa. The other two victims were his wife, Amy, and their son Tyler. Their ages were not available.
The single-engine Piper Cherokee was en route from Jefferson City to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, when controllers lost contact around 8:45 am yesterday. Schroeder says Randy Wheeler told controllers he had zero visibility and a strong headwind shortly before the crash.
Schroeder said so far it appears the family had ultimately been heading to Florida, and planned to refuel in Alabama.
The sheriff says initial reports of four on board the plane were due to some miscommunication and are incorrect.