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3 killed in small plane crash near Iditarod route (+video)

On Tuesday, a crashed Cessna airplane and three bodies were found near a mountain checkpoint along the route of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The pilot and a mother and daughter were killed in the crash.

By Yereth RosenReuters / March 5, 2013

Iditarod musher Jan Steves drives her team along the airstrip at Rohn, Alaska, as she approaches a checkpoint on Tuesday. On Tuesday rescue workers found the wreckage of a Cessna airplane near an Iditarod mountain checkpoint. Three were killed in the crash.

Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News/AP

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Anchorage, Alaska

A small plane crashed near a mountain checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, killing all three people aboard, state officials said on Tuesday.

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Searchers found wreckage of the plane, a Cessna 182, on Tuesday near the 4,000-foot level of Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range north of Anchorage.

Rainy Pass is one of the early checkpoints in the 1,000-mile Iditarod, which began in Anchorage on Saturday.

The search began late on Monday when the plane was reported missing, the Alaska National Guard said. It failed to reach its destination of Takotna, an Athabascan village that serves as a race checkpoint 176 miles beyond Rainy Pass.

Killed were pilot Ted Smith, 59, a retired Anchorage police officer, and passengers Carolyn Sorvoja, 48, and Rosemarie Sorvoja, 10, the Alaska State Troopers said. All were from Eagle River.

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