Thursday, June 4, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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3 Killed In Plane Crash Near Yakima


YAKIMA - Three people, including two Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories workers doing research under a contract with the Army, were killed yesterday when a private airplane crashed on the U.S. Army's Yakima Firing Center, authorities said.

The Yakima County sheriff's office said Dick Fitzner of Benton City in Benton County, and Ray Gilkerson, owner of Kennewick Aircraft Services, died at the scene. Lester Eberhardt of Kennewick was evacuated by the Army to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, where he later died, the sheriff's office and a nursing supervisor said.

Eberhardt and Fitzner were the Battelle workers, said Jerry Holloway, a spokesman for Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, which chartered the plane.

The Cessna 182, operated by Kennewick Aircraft, crashed on top of Yakima Ridge, a mountain just northeast of Yakima, the sheriff's office said.

A U.S. Army spokesman said the crash occurred on top of Yakima Ridge, a mountain just northeast of here.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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