CLINTON, Utah (AP) — Family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening in a northern Utah park to remember two teenage brothers who died in a small plane crash in northern Arizona on Sunday.
Several hundred people joined in a prayer, lit candles and signed basketballs and jerseys honoring Daulton Whatcott, 19, and Jaxon Whatcott, 16.
Both brothers played on the basketball team at Syracuse High School, where Jaxon would have started his junior year this fall. Daulton graduated last year and was attending Utah State University.
“Both of them were very skilled basketball players,” Syracuse High basketball coach Troy Anderson said. “You have guys who are shooters. You have guys who are rebounders. … They were really the whole package.”
Syracuse High School Principal Wendy Nelson said a grief counselor had been brought in to help students cope.
The Whatcott family had been consoling the teenagers’ mourning friends since the weekend crash, Nelson said.
“I’ve never seen a stronger family. They’ve been comforting these kids for two days,” Nelson told The Standard-Examiner of Ogden (http://bit.ly/1nrDwEt ).
Daulton Whatcott, a newly licensed pilot, was flying a single-engine Cessna on Sunday evening when it crashed just south of Interstate 15 near the Arizona-Utah border, authorities said. The plane crashed on a ledge near the Virgin River Gorge.
Daulton was a newly licensed pilot and was taking Jaxon to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas, family spokeswoman Taunie Reynolds said. They were the only two on board.
Officials don’t know what caused the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net
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