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Trapper Creek man dies when plane strikes tree while flying over daughter's wedding reception


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Trapper Creek man died Sunday evening when his plane struck a tree while flying over his daughter's wedding reception, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Michael Zagula, 54, passed over the reception area when the Cessna 206's landing gear hit a tree and caused the crash, according to a trooper dispatch posted online late Sunday. The plane went down near Petersville Road in Trapper Creek, a south-central Alaska community, said troopers, although initial reports placed the crash near Kula Road.

Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said no one else was in the plane.

Responders traveled to the crash site on four-wheelers that evening, said Ken Barkley, deputy emergency services director for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Ipsen said state troopers were also there.

Responders were notified of the crash shortly after 7 Sunday evening.

The chief of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska region office, Clint Johnson, said investigator Brice Banning has been assigned to the crash. He was scheduled to depart early Monday.

Troopers said Zagula's next of kin were present at the scene. His body was turned over to the State Medical Examiner Office for an autopsy.

Information from: KTUU-TV,

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