BURLEY, Idaho -- A small plane crashed south of the J.R. "Jack" Simplot Airport in Burley Sunday afternoon, killing a family of four from California.
Family members identified the victims as 42-year-old Randy Whittle, his 46-year-old wife, Vicki, and their children, 16-year-old MacLean and 13-year-old Brittany, all of Claremont, Calif., in a statement issued by authorities Monday.
Whittle was the pilot of the plane that went down Sunday afternoon near the runway at the Burley airport. The plane is believed to have crashed immediately after taking off, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The National Transportation Safety Board has sent an investigator to Burley to investigate the cause of the crash.
Whittle and his family were in Idaho visiting his parents, according to family members.
Saint Woodbury was on his way to the boat docks by the Burley Golf Course when he saw a huge plume of smoke and decided to drive toward it for a closer look.
"At first I just thought it was a grass fire," Woodbury said. "But it was kind of weird because it was really dark, black smoke coming from there. And as I got there closer, then I started to see part of a wing was actually laying on top of the railroad track. And that's when it actually dawned on me what was going on."
The NTSB said it could take a month or longer for them to determine the cause of the crash.