(UnitedVoice.com) – Alaskan Rep. Mary Peltola (D) suffered a crushing loss on Tuesday, September 12. Her beloved husband, Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr., died in a plane crash. President Joe Biden and her colleagues in Congress quickly came forward and offered their condolences.
On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a single-engine Piper PA-18 crashed near St. Mary, a western Alaska village, the day before at 8:45 p.m. local time. Pilot Buzzy Peltola, 57, was the only person on the plane. Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), said the pilot had dropped a hunter off about 64 miles from St. Mary’s and crashed shortly after departing the mountainous region. Two hunters at the scene of the crash found Petola in the wreckage and provided medical care, but he died before rescue teams reached him.
The Peltolas had seven kids, three of whom were his from previous relationships. Mr. Peltola worked for US Fish and Wildlife Services for over 30 years before moving on to serve as the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Alaska Region. He retired last year.
The congresswoman was in Washington, DC, at the time of the plane crash. Rep. Peltola’s Chief of Staff Anton McParland issued a statement expressing devastation over the congresswoman’s loss, saying “Buzzy” was “one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything.” He said everyone was “heartbroken for the family’s loss.”
— Rep. Mary Peltola (@Rep_Peltola) September 13, 2023
Biden released a statement saying he and First Lady Jill Biden were sending their “love and prayers” to Peltola. The POTUS, who lost his first wife and toddler daughter in a car accident, said, “Such a loss is cruel and unfair, and the first hours, days, and weeks will be the hardest.”
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland shared the president’s statement and her condolences on X.
— Secretary Deb Haaland (@SecDebHaaland) September 14, 2023
Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) expressed her shock and sadness over the congresswoman’s loss, saying Mr. Peltola was his wife’s “number one supporter” and “her rock.”
He was Mary’s number one supporter and truly her rock. My heart is in Alaska today with Mary and their children, and Verne and I offer prayers and condolences to them.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) September 13, 2023
Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan (R) also issued a statement, saying he and his wife were “shocked and saddened beyond belief” over Peltola’s passing. He said that he was praying for the congresswoman and wanted her to “know that Alaskans across [their] great state [were] doing the same.”
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