ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Relatives on Friday confirmed the three people killed in an Arizona plane crash are a two-time Olympic runner from Albuquerque, his son and the son's best friend.
The three were on a guys' trip and heading for home Thursday morning when their plane crashed and burned during takeoff from the Sedona airport, Patricia "Trish" Porter said during an afternoon news conference in Albuquerque.
Porter said her husband, former Olympic distance runner Patrick Porter, 53, her son, Connor Porter, 15, and Connor's best friend, Connor Mantsch, 14, died in the crash.
The boys were classmates at the Albuquerque Academy and would have been freshmen.
The news conference was held on the track field at the Academy with Shannon Porter standing at her mother's side.
"He loved life, his friends, his school and was very, very proud to tell others how much he loved his sister Shannon," Trish Porter said.
Arizona authorities have not officially released the names of those killed, but Trish Porter said she knows the three were on board the Beech B-60 registered to her husband.
Sedona police told KRQE News 13 the plane was trying to take off when it appeared to clip a fence at the end of the runway.
Police said something on the plane was knocked loose, and the craft dropped hundreds of feet into a ravine off the end of the runway before bursting into flames.
Trish Porter, an Olympic high jumper, said she met her husband during training for the 1988 Olympics and fell in love with his sense of humor.
Patrick Porter, a high school and college track star in Alamosa, Colo., competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.
Connor Porter had taken up fencing and had hoped to continue the sport at Stanford University, his mother said.
A family spokesperson said Mantsch had an amazing zeal for life, loved nature over video games and had an inventive and creative mind.
The National Transportation Safety Board said the wreckage was taken from the crash site to Phoenix to find out what caused the accident.
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