1 found, 1 still missing from plane crash in Matagorda Bay

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

July 4, 2011 at 2:04 a.m.

PORT O'CONNOR - Divers recovered on Monday the body of the passenger who was in a single-engine Lancair plane that crashed Sunday about 10:30 a.m. into Matagorda Bay.

David Eddington, 42, of Austin, was found in the cockpit of the plane before 11 a.m., said Department of Public Safety Trooper Gerald Bryant. The pilot and owner of the homemade aircraft, Dr. Lyle Koen, 67, also of Austin, has not yet been found.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Port O'Connor, DPS and Texas Parks and Wildlife began searching for the men at first light Monday, who took off from Pierce Field runway on Matagorda Peninsula a day earlier.

Witnesses of the crash told law officials the plane sputtered upon take-off before nose diving into the 6.8-feet water about five miles east of Bird Island.

At 4 p.m. Monday, DPS divers suspended their search for Koen.

"Divers searched about a quarter to half-mile area with sonar for most of the afternoon, but did not find the other body," Bryant said.

Coast Guard Station Port O'Connor deployed a 25-foot vessel Monday morning to assist the other agencies recover wreckage from the water.

Coast Guard 2nd Class Petty Officer Austin Casey, who oversaw the security of the crash scene Sunday and Monday, said his men suspended their recovery efforts at 10:30 a.m. A HH-65 helicopter will be deployed Tuesday morning at sunrise, however, to search for Koen a third day.

Bryant said the hot temperatures will likely surface Koen's body in the next few days if he's not recovered by officials.

Families of Koen and Eddington were notified by law officials, but were unable to be located for comment by the Victoria Advocate.



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