HONOLULU — A Colorado couple was among the 11 people killed in a skydiving plane crash in Hawaii over the weekend.
According to a family member, Bryan and Ashely Weikel of Colorado were killed when a Beechcraft King Air plane crashed and burned on Oahu island's north shore Friday evening.
"Bryan was a very energetic, fun loving person," said Kenneth Weikel, the victim's brother. "He was always trying to make people laugh, always trying to make people happy."
"And Ashley really complimented Bryan on that note because it was her mission to make him smile," he continued. "He was just the guy that was going to save the world, and she was the girl to save his."
Kenneth Weikel said the couple traveled to Hawaii to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
"Anybody that knew those two knew, that if you wanted a true image of true love, it's just a picture of them."
Also among the victims was 29-year-old Casey Williamson, who had spent winters working and snowboarding in Vail, according to his cousin, Natacha Mendenhall.
"Casey was one-of-a-kind who lived life to the fullest," Mendenall said. "He was a free-spirited lover of life and people. He was a friend to all he met. His smile and love for life was contagious."
Witnesses said the plane appeared to turn back shortly after takeoff. No one aboard survived the crash, which left a small pile of smoky wreckage near the chain link fence surrounding Dillingham Airfield, a one-runway seaside airfield. Witnesses also reported seeing the plane wobble before it went down.
Officials in Hawaii initially reported that nine people had died and that three of them were customers of the skydiving company operating the plane and six were employees. But the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted Saturday that officials later "confirmed there were 11 people on board the plane" and no survivors.
Williamson was born in Yukon, Oklahoma and used to spend his winters in Vail snowboarding and his summers in Moab sky diving. He then accepted a full-time skydiving position at the Oahu Parachute Center in Hawaii, and had planned on returning to Vail this coming winter, Mendenhall said.
"We feel immeasurably grateful for all of the kind words and generosity of so many," Mendenhall said. "We are praying for all the friends, family and those on the ground at the time if the crash. This has affected so many, and our hearts are heavy."
The same plane that crashed Friday was involved in a terrifying mid-air incident three years ago in Northern California that prompted the 14 skydivers aboard to jump earlier than planned to safety, according to government investigative records.
In that incident, the twin-engine plane stalled three times and spun repeatedly before the pilot managed to land it safely, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its investigative report.
The Hawaii crash is one of the worst U.S. civil aviation accidents since a 2011 accident at the Reno Air Show in Nevada that killed the pilot and 10 spectators.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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