tests find no alcohol in Wellstone's pilot
The Associated Press, 10/30/02
DULUTH, Minn. - Tests on the body of the chief pilot of Sen. Paul Wellstone's ill-fated charter plane found no signs of alcohol or commonly abused drugs, according to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner.
Dr. Thomas Uncini also said Tuesday that autopsies have found no evidence that Capt. Richard Conry or first officer Michael Guess had any health problems or emergencies that would have played a role in the crash.
A test for the presence of drugs or alcohol in Guess' body was pending.
The airplane carrying Wellstone, his wife, their daughter, the pilots and three others crashed last Friday in northern Minnesota. There were no survivors.
Uncini said all eight suffered "traumatic injuries" of the type that often kill crash victims, but that it's too early to say for certain that these caused their deaths.
"This case had a fire, so I have to make sure the fire didn't kill them," Uncini said. "It can be important for family members to know whether or not they were alive when the fire started."
Meanwhile all but a few of the 17 National Transportation Safety Board investigators assigned to the crash returned to Washington, D.C., Tuesday, having completed much of the on-scene work they could do at the crash site.
Those remaining shipped the mangled twin engines recovered from the Beechcraft King Air A100 from a hanger at the Eveleth-Virginia Airport to their manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney of Canada, for an NTSB-supervised teardown in an attempt to see if they malfunctioned. The propellers were shipped on Monday to a separate manufacturer.
Information from: Minneapolis - St. Paul Star Tribune
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