Well-known Franklin County cattleman Elwyn Fletcher died after a plane crash Tuesday morning near Keller in Ferry County.
The plane, with two people on board, crashed shortly after takeoff and landed on some power lines along Highway 21, three miles north of Keller, according to reports from the Federal Aviation Administration and Colville Tribal Police Department.
The other person onboard, identified by tribal police as Justin Marchand, 24, of Colville, and Keller, was flown by air ambulance to a Spokane hospital where he was listed in serious condition.
Fletcher, 65, did not survive long enough to be taken to a hospital.
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The two men were in a fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna registered to Fletcher Cattle Co. of Mesa. The National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately know which man was the pilot.
The cause of the accident remained under investigation Tuesday.
The Colville Tribal Police Department, which received a call that a plane had crashed at 6:45 a.m., is working with FAA investigators.
Fletcher was well known in the cattle industry and had been a member of the Washington Cattlemen's Association since 1983, said Jack Field, executive vice president.
Fletcher was a past District 5 representative to the board of directors.
"He was definitely a people person," Field said. "He always had a smile on his face and was a lot of fun to be with."
He and his family ran a cattle operation that included raising cow and calf pairs, running yearlings and operating a backgrounding feedlot to prepare cattle for feedlots, Field said.
Most recently he was involved in a feedlot between Connell and Mesa that his son Jesse ran day-to-day, Field said.
Fletcher's long history and broad knowledge of cattle operations allowed him to sit down and talk with anyone in any phase of the cattle industry, Field said.
"Elwyn sure means a lot to a lot of people," Field said. "It's a terrible loss for the entire industry and especially the Fletcher family."
* Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org.