Crash victim was engaged to Summit High School grad
SUMMIT COUNTY The fianc of a longtime Summit County resident died this week in a plane crash near Steamboat Springs.Levi Klapperich, 26, and his 56-year-old father, Mark, were flying a twin-engine Cessna 310 from the Yampa Regional Airport to the Boulder Boulder race on Sunday morning when the plane disappeared. On Tuesday, after a multi-state search involving hundreds of volunteers, authorities found the wreckage and the two men. Levis fianc, Emily Bee, graduated from Summit High School in 2003, said Sue Bee, Emilys mother. Sue and her husband now live in Ohio after her family ran All Music in Frisco for years, but said they were hearing from a number of local residents asking to help. We miss Summit County, Emily said. And we appreciate everyones support.Levi and Emily were living in Durango at the time, and both flew regularly, Sue said. Kevin Kleckler, the announcer at the schools basketball and football games, coached Levi at football in the 1990s and described him as an outstanding student-athlete.When he was a senior, he was my go-to guy, Kleckler said. He was the team leader. When we needed something to happen on the field, we gave him the ball. He was an asset to the team, not only physically he was a very gifted athlete but also mentally. He was mentally tough; he understood the game well.Levi and Emily were recently engaged, and both were pilots.The Klapperich family was well-known in the Hayden area, according to the Steamboat Pilot-Today.Levi was a licensed commercial pilot as well as a flight and ground instructor, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The plane crashed into rough, snowy terrain six miles east of Steamboat Springs and several miles from Buffalo Pass.He loved flying. Its all we really talked about, said Anthony Reedy, who took flight instruction from Levi. He had more passion for it than anyone I ever met. Everything about it excited him, which made him a much better teacher.The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the wreck. Officials said Tuesday that they thought there had been a fire.Blythe Terrell of the Steamboat Pilot-Today contributed to this story. Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-4618, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A service for Levi and Mark Klapperich will be held at on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Hayden High School football field. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial fund at the First National Bank of the Rockies, P.O. Box 246, Craig, CO 81626. For more information, call (970) 276-3731.
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