The husband of U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, the first Alaska Native elected to Congress, died in a plane crash in western Alaska on Wednesday. Eugene Peltola Jr., known as Buzzy, was flying a small plane when it crashed shortly after takeoff near St. Mary’s, according to federal and state officials . He was the only person on board.
Buzzy had just dropped off a hunter and some equipment at a remote site, said Jennifer Homendy, the chairperson of the National Transportation Safety Board. Two other hunters who witnessed the crash tried to help him, but he succumbed to his injuries before a rescue team arrived.
Mary Peltola, a Yup’ik who represents Alaska’s at-large congressional district, was on her way back to Alaska to be with her family, her chief of staff Anton McParland said in a statement. He asked for privacy for the grieving family.