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Autopsies ID Victims of Thursday Plane Crash

The three men who died Thursday in the crash of a single-engine plane on St. Croix have been identified through autopsies.
The three are David Bentley, 58, of St. Croix; Elium King, 58, of St. Vincent; and Mark Atchley, 50, of Tennessee; according to a release from the V.I. Police Department.
The autopsies were performed by Medical Examiner Dr. Francisco Landrun late Monday afternoon. The procedures established that the three victims died instantly upon impact before the plane burst into flames.
The families provided VIPD Forensic detectives with specific information on the victims that assisted Landrun in identifying the deceased, according to the police.
Bentley was identified based on unique jewelry he was wearing,while King was identified based on his wedding ring engraved with his name. Atchley was identified based on a prior surgery in which pins were inserted into his knee.
Both Bentley and King also had wallets in their back pockets which were not destroyed in the fire.
The three were on board a single-engine Cessna 177, which took off around 1:30 p.m. Thursday from Henry E. Rohlsen Airport. Witnesses said it appeared almost immediately after takeoff that the plane was in trouble, and called emergency services. Rescue personnel arrived at the crash scene within minutes.
No official cause of the crash has been determined by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Bentley was director of Caribbean Flight Center (CFC). According to the center’s site, Bentley moved to St. Croix in 2000 and started CFC two years later. The company offers a variety of services to aircraft flying into and out of Rohlsen, including fueling services, catering, airplane washing and charter flights. It had recently broken ground on a new facility at the airport.
The comments section on the website, http://www.caribbeanflightcenter.com/CaribbeanFlightCenter.htm, was loaded with messages from friends and customers expressing sadness and offering condolences over Bentley’s death.

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