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Troopers identify 2 passengers who died in plane crash near Old Harbor

Longtime Kodiak resident Rod Murdock, who was 73, and 91-year-old Byron Chitwood died in the crash, according to Alaska State Troopers. The Piper Cherokee went down just north of the village of Old Harbor on Sunday, July 2 – about 6 minutes into the flight.

The names and any identifying information of those on board had not been confirmed publicly by the families earlier this week, and was not officially released until Friday evening.

Chitwood was from Texas. He was the mayor of Greenville – outside of Dallas – in the early 2000s. Greenville’s local newspaper, the Herald-Banner, reported Thursday that Chitwood’s two adult sons were also on board the plane and injured in the crash. Family members told the paper they were on an annual fishing trip to Alaska.

Murdock lived in Kodiak for more than three decades, and owned Alpha Appliance Repair. There is a celebration of life planned for Murdock at the covered picnic area of Kodiak’s Fort Abercrombie State Park on Monday, July 10 starting at 12 p.m. His family said anyone who knew him is welcome to bring a dish – and an instrument – and share a memory.

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash.