Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Service project ends with plane crash; 5 are killed

Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 1997

E-mail story

It's easy. Send a link to the story you were just reading to a friend. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send it along.

Your name and e-mail address are transmitted to the recipient. Otherwise, it is considered private information; see Privacy policy.

A plane flight that began as a service project and ended in a tragic crash took the lives of three Latter-day Saints Jan. 2. According to the Associated Press, five people in a single-engine Cessna 210 crashed into Cuddy Mountain, 20 miles northwest of Council, Idaho, during a snowstorm. There were no survivors.

The pilot, Trudi Bolinder, 63, of the Boise (Idaho) 13th Ward had flown to McCall, Idaho, some 20 miles northeast of Council, to pick up Susan Hansen, 42, and her daughter, Brenna, 19, of the Hickories Ward, Eagle Idaho Stake; and Michelle Nelson, 20, of Boise, and Jeremy Zuck, 38, of Portland, Ore. They had been stranded in McCall as a result of severe flooding in the Northwest. (Please see related article on this page.) The plane went down on the return flight to Boise, 90 miles to the south.Bishop Douglas Kowallis of the Boise 13th Ward said giving service was part of the nature of Sister Bolinder, who was Relief Society spiritual living teacher in her ward. "That was Trudi," he said, "to leave at the drop of a hat to help anyone in need."

Sister Hansen was preparing to serve her first legislative session as Idaho state sergeant-at-arms this month. Brenna had just completed her first semester at Utah State University, where she played on the women's soccer team.

Bishop Donald Smurthwaite of the Hickories Ward said: "One of Susan's strongest attributes was she could uplift anyone, whether it be a 13-year-old in her Sunday School class or a state senator."