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Ballard couple ID’d as victims of helicopter crash in Utah

ALPINE, Utah (AP) — A husband and wife from Ballard have been identified as the two people killed in the crash of a small helicopter in the central Utah mountains.

Utah County Sheriff’s officials say the pilot was 32-year-old Benno Anthony Penna with his 32-year-old wife Megan Michele Hawk Penna as the passenger.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash that occurred Friday on a steep, snow slope near Alpine 22 miles (35 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.

Family members of the victims reported the helicopter overdue on a flight from Vernal Regional Airport in eastern Utah to South Valley Regional Airport in metro Salt Lake City.

Authorities recovered the two bodies Saturday.

The couple leaves behind two children — a 6-year-old boy and a 5-year-old-girl.