Remains positively ID'd as Carson woman

A California coroner has positively identified remains from the wreckage of an aircraft as those of the wife of a prominent Carson City businessman.

Irene Weddell's remains were confirmed through dental records sent to California following a plane wreck Monday afternoon outside of Yosemite National Park.

"The cause of death will be traumatic injuries due to the airplane crash," said Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. John Steely, who conducted the autopsy.

Steely is awaiting dental records from the family of pilot Larry Levi, 45, believed to be the second victim found in the wreckage of the Cessna 210 Turbo belonging to Ron Weddell, owner of R.P. Weddell and Sons Co.

Levi flew Weddell to Fullerton, Calif., to visit with her 96-year-old mother for Mother's Day. When he returned, he and his 12-year-old daughter flew to the Bay area to visit with his parents.

Levi returned to Carson City and dropped off his daughter before flying Monday morning to meet Weddell at the Fullerton Airport.

Ron Weddell was expecting the two to return by 2:30 p.m. after having spoken to his wife earlier in the morning.

By 4 p.m. Monday, Weddell learned of the crash of the aircraft about 18 miles west of Groveland, Calif., on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park.

Firefighters, called for a wildland fire, discovered the aircraft amid the flames.

The accident is under investigation by the National Transportation and Safety Board. Weather is not believed to be a factor.

A Federal Aviation Administration report said the aircraft became the subject of an alert notification Monday when radar and radio contact was lost at 12,500 feet.

Levi was a seasoned pilot with nearly 20 years of flying experience.

John Brown, who bought Emerald Bay Aviation two years ago from him, said he was in a state of shock.

"He's a great pilot with a great reputation," Brown said, speculating Levi could have landed the plane in his sleep.

Ron Weddell said his family is still reeling from the loss of the woman to whom he was married for 37 years. The couple have four children and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service for Levi and Weddell is being held at 11 a.m. Saturday at R.P. Weddell and Sons, 2205 Arrowhead Drive. Weddell's remains will be cremated.

Ron Weddell is a general contractor with offices in Carson City and Las Vegas.


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