By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon High School graduate was killed Friday night in a plane crash in Hawaii.
Casey Williamson, 29, died tragically on June 21 while serving as a skydiving instructor on Oahu’s northern shore.
Williamson was among 11 people who died when a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air plane crashed near Dillingham Airfield about 6:30 p.m. When first responders were called to the airport, they found the plane fully engulfed in flames far from the Mokeleia runway.
Initial reports indicated all nine people on board had died, but on Saturday afternoon the medical examiner’s office for the city and county of Honolulu confirmed there were 11 victims.
Williamson grew up in Yukon and graduated from YHS where he played football and basketball and was in the choir.
Williamson started skydiving 2-1/2 years ago and moved to Hawaii 1-1/2 years ago to work at Oahu Parachute Center and focus on sky-diving full time. He hoped to reach 1,000 jumps by the end of this year.
“Casey was one-of-a-kind who lived life to the fullest,” said his cousin, Natacha Mendenhall of Fort Worth, Texas. “He was a free spirited lover of life and people. He was a friend to all he met. His smile and love for life was contagious. Our family will not be the same without our sweet Casey.”
Williamson worked as a videographer and filmed customers as they dove.
Williamson was an adventurer who lived in Vail, Colo. to snowboard and Moab, Utah to skydive, according to Mendenhall.
A Go Fund Me page was started by his cousin to help his mother Carla Ajaga with funeral costs. Williamson was Ajaga’s only child.
“What she wants everyone to know is how full of life her son was; how loving he was,” Mendenhall said.
The response to the Go Fund Me request has been “overwhelmingly,” family members said.
In just the first six hours after the Go Fund Me page went live, more than $3,100 had been raised toward a $5,000 goal.
“For all of you that knew Case he lived everyday with (a) smile that went on for days,” according to the page.
In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said preliminary information indicates the plane that carried Yukon’s Williamson and the other 10 victims was taking off from the airport when it crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched a “go team” to Oahu to investigate Friday’s tragic crash.
Preliminary reports indicated at least six people on the plane – including Yukon’s Williamson – were employees of Oahu Parachute Center and three were customers, according to the Washington Post.
Oahu’s Dillingham Airfield has one 5,000 foot runway used primarily for small private planes and commercial skydiving and glider operations.