911 calls released after deadly airplane crash on I-15 in Weber County

Posted at 7:51 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 13:34:31-04

WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- Two married couples were killed Wednesday when a small airplane went down on I-15 in Weber County, and authorities have released the emotional 911 calls made in the aftermath of the fiery crash.

The deceased have been identified as 48-year-old Layne Clarke and 46-year-old Diana Clarke, a husband and wife from Taylor; and 45-year-old Perry Huffaker and 42-year-old Sarah Huffaker, a husband and wife from West Haven.

Authorities released 15 of the 911 calls that were made in the aftermath of the crash, which occurred on I-15 near 5600 South around 1 p.m. The audio from some of those calls can be heard in the video embedded below.

"That plane nose-dived straight into the ground, there's a big black cloud; it just exploded," one caller told a dispatcher. "...But it was going, and it barrel rolled right over and went straight into the ground."

Another caller said he saw the aircraft hit the freeway as he was on his way to an airport.

“It looks like it landed right on top of the freeway," the man told a dispatcher. “...It looks like a total loss, I watched it actually hit the freeway, I was on my way to the airport on I-15 when I saw it hit the freeway."

Other callers seemed certain there would be no survivors aboard.

“I don’t see how anyone could have survived it," one caller said. "They came from about 500 feet above, straight down onto the freeway.”

Several people sounded frantic and panicked, while others made their reports through tears and a few were calm and matter of fact. Dispatchers reassured many of these callers that they had already received reports on the crash and that help was on the way.

"Oh my God I don’t know, but a plane just went down, I saw it," one woman says when a dispatcher asks her about the nature of her emergency. "I watched it going down."

Another woman said she was driving northbound on the freeway when she noticed the plane flying low to the ground.

“I looked up right before the Riverdale exit and I saw the plane and she was initially heading more south, and she was moving around and the plane nose headed down and I turned to my mother and I said, 'That plane’s really low,' and then [the plane] hit the ground and it exploded," she said.

Other witnesses saw the crash from some nearby apartment buildings.

“It was flying down and then all of the sudden it started spinning out of control, and then we heard it hit the ground and then smoke and flames erupted," one caller reported seeing from those apartments.

The Utah Department of Public Safety is working with advocates to set up a Family Assistance Center where next of kin as well as those who witnessed the crash can receive information and assistance. The center will be open Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Weber County Building, located at 2380 Washington Blvd., in the Commission Chambers.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Watch Fox 13 News at Nine Wednesday for the latest on this developing story.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the families with funeral expenses.