Father of plane crash victim speaks out

Posted at: 03/04/2013 5:29 PM
Updated at: 03/04/2013 5:32 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Bill Woodward
Photo: Bill Woodward

KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned the identities of the four people killed when a plane came crashing down in Angel Fire Sunday.

Pilot John Phillip Verhalen, his sister, Sara, niece, Chloe Marie Jameson and girlfriend, Jennifer Woodward, were all killed.

KOB has learned there could have been more victims.

Jennifer Woodward began dating John Verhalen about 6 months ago, and this weekend the two families met for a ski trip.

“Hug your kids. Don’t let a day go by,” said Jennifer’s father, Bill Woodward of San Antonio.

Bill remembered the last time he saw his daughter. “She’s just always smiling and she was smiling yesterday morning. Just full of life, excited,” added Bill.

The Woodwards visited the Angel Fire area this past weekend with John Verhalen’s family.

“In shock. We, we’re accepting it but it’s hard,” said Bill.

In a last minute decision, the Woodwards decided to drive back to San Antonio, instead of flying back with Jennifer and John. “She was just happy to be alive and so was he. They did well together,” said Bill.

Strong winds are believed to have been a key factor in the crash.

“I’ve been dealing with emergencies all my life and never thought I had to one with my own, own child,” added Bill, a paramedic.

Workers are the Angel Fire Airport said they talked to John about not flying in the high winds with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. John thought he could handle the conditions.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen the crash to contact the NTSB at  eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov