MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say three people were killed in a small plane crash near St. Ignatius.
Lake County Sheriff and Coroner Donald Bell said Timothy Arnold, 59, Grant Weythman, 49, and Allen Eicher, 65, of Evansville died Thursday.
They were on a mission trip to Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch and School. It’s a ministry for troubled kids.
The men were members of First Christian Church in northern Vanderburgh County.
Jerry Clark, Senior Minister at First Christian, said the men were active in the church and had made the trip to Montana several times before.
“They’re the kind of guys you just like to hang out with. You know, the kind of guys that had the ability to take care of things and fix things,” Clark said.
A Facebook page under Arnold’s name included a photo of three men with the caption, “Montana here we come.”
“Tim, and Grant, and Allen, my friends, won’t be remembered for the way they died, they’ll be remembered for the way they lived, for the lives they touched, for the lives they changed,” Clark added.
Bell says the single-engine Beechraft clipped a power line and crashed upside down in a hayfield in western Montana.
Authorities used a backhoe to lift the plane and remove the bodies, which have been sent to the Montana State Crime Lab.
The Federal Aviation Administration and county officials are at the site of the crash and investigating.
First Christian Church has released the following statement:
“The First Christian Church Evansville family is grieving the loss of Tim Arnold, Allen Eicher, and Grant Weythman in an airplane crash at Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch in St. Ignatius, Montana.
These men served as leaders in many capacities within our church family, but more importantly, they were loving husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and more. These men were passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that was reflected in their personal life as well as their ministry. They were called home during what they loved most, serving the Kingdom and being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Our church community is surrounding their families during this time of grief. Our prayer is that their wives, children, and extended families will experience the love and comfort of Christ.
Tim, Allen and Grant would want everyone to know that Christ is Lord, that God is sovereign and that our only hope is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
While we experience the pain of loss, we do not grieve like those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We covet the prayers of the community in the coming days.”
This story was originally published on August 30, 2019