Tahoe City’s Darla Sue Farnell Loses Life in Small Plane Crash

Truckee, CA…The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has notified the next-of-kin and can now release the name of the woman who died in a plane crash near Truckee today. She was Darla Sue Farnell, 55, of the Tahoe City area. The man who was critically injured is Ray Richard Farnell, 70, also of the Tahoe City area.

On March 3, 2014 at 11:00 am the Placer County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Oakland Air Traffic Control Center of a possible plane crash approximately 3-4 miles south by south east of the Truckee Airport. Placer County Sheriff’s Deputies, Truckee Police Department, Truckee Fire Department, North Tahoe Fire, California Highway Patrol and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area in an attempt to locate the plane. CHP helicopter H24 and a Care Flight helicopter were also dispatched to help search.

At about 11:55 am CHP helicopter H24 located the crashed plane approximately six miles south by south east from the Truckee Airport in the Juniper Creek area of Placer County California. The single engine plane was located in a mountainous area in approximately 4-5 feet of snow, making it difficult to reach by conventional means. Snowmobile teams and two snowcats were already staged in the area and started heading to the crash site from the east and west sides of the mountain.

At 12:50 am snowmobile search teams reached the crash site discovering a male survivor and a deceased female believed to be the only two on board the plane. Team members provided medical aid to the critically injured male until a snowcat with paramedics arrived. The male was extricated from the crash and transported by snowcat to an awaiting ambulance. He was then taken to a local area hospital. The current condition of the injured person is not known.

Placer County Sheriff’s investigators and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue members are still at the scene of the crash to recover the decedent. Investigators from the FAA will begin investigating the crash tomorrow.

The names of the victims are not being released pending next of kin notification.