Crash victims making recovery

By Darin Fenger: Freedom Newspapers

Two Yuma, Ariz., residents were recovering Saturday from serious injuries they suffered when their plane crashed Friday near Tucumcari.

Kathryn Blohm and her brother-in-law, Gary Mayer, were hurt when their single-engine Beech crashed shortly after taking off from the airport in Tucumcari, said Blohm’s boyfriend, Dick Rautenberg.

Blohm is hospitalized in Amarillo, being treated for a broken pelvis, broken ankles and broken ribs, Rautenberg said.

“She was in surgery this morning,” said Rautenberg, who was on his way to Texas early Saturday morning. “We’ll know more this evening.”

Blohm’s brother-in-law, Gary Mayer, who was piloting the plane, suffers from a broken ankle or ankles. “He’s not hurt nearly as badly,” Rautenberg said.

The accident occurred Friday afternoon when the Yumans’ single-engine plane crashed in a field six miles east of Tucumcari, according to New Mexico State Police.

“They’re lucky to be alive,” Rautenberg said. “They crashed in a real rugged place.”

He said Mayer and Blohm had landed in Tucumcari to refuel and were continuing on their way to Oklahoma to family.

“They took off and the plane just couldn’t pull over the mountain,” Rautenberg said. “I think they were like six miles away from help, but help got there pretty quick.”

The plane came down in a pasture about a quarter-mile south of Interstate 40, according to state police.

The investigation will be turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Beech 35-B33 plane was manufactured in 1962 and is owned by Yuma RG Flyers Club LLC, according to records on the FAA Web site.