Minnesota couple confirmed dead in Whatcom plane crash

The two bodies found with the wreckage of a small plane that crashed Saturday, July 11, in Whatcom County have been confirmed to be those of a Minnesota couple.

Robert J. Nevalainen, 62 and Gail S. Nevalainen, 58, died immediately as a result of multiple blunt trauma injuries suffered when their plane crashed into the South Twin Sister, the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Friday afternoon.

The couple had left International Falls, Minn., and had last stopped at Stehekin on their way to Orcas Island.

Civil Air Patrol spotted the plane wreckage on Wednesday morning. The bodies were recovered that day.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and a separate one also on Saturday in the mountains near Mazama. Two Montana residents died in that plane crash, but a 16-year-old Autumn Veatch of Bellingham survived.