Authorities say two people from the San Antonio area and two people from the Dallas area were killed when their single-engine Mooney airplane crashed during takeoff at an airport in northern New Mexico.
It happened Sunday 150 miles northeast of Albuquerque in the community of Angel Fire.
New Mexico State Police identify the pilot as 33-year-old John Phillip Verhalen III, his 41-year-old sister, Sara Verhalen, and her 13-year-old daughter, Chloe Marie Jameson.
John Verhalen was a mechanical systems engineer for "Syberjet," who is believed to have lived in the San Antonio area.
The fourth victim is identified as the pilot's girlfriend, 26-year-old Jennifer Woodward. She is also believed to be from the San Antonio area.
The FAA says the plane was owned by a company in Scottsville, Texas, which is about 150 miles east of Dallas.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Details emerge about victims
The family of Woodward, who died Sunday in a plane crash in Angel Fire, N.M., was vacationing with Woodward and her boyfriend in the days before their plane went down.
“We got up, got dressed, got packed, hugged each other told each other we loved each other and said our goodbyes,” said Billy Hal Woodward, Jennifer's father. “They said they’d see us in San Antonio and when they got there, they’d probably beat us home.”
“She was full of life and loved life,” he added. “She met a nice young man and they were doing well together.”
Woodward grew up in Schertz and attended Clemens High School. She went on to graduate from Midwestern State University and get a job at Joeris General Contractors where she worked as a project management assistant since October 2011.
“She had a good work ethic,” said her father. “She believed in getting there early and staying late. Doing whatever anyone asked of her.”
Verhalen was an employee of SyberJet Aircraft and previously worked for Boeing, says Woodward, adding that he was an experienced pilot who grew up flying.
Verhalen’s father, from East Texas, is a flight instructor.
“He was very good about checking the things that need to be checked and going the extra mile to make sure everything that can be done will be done to make it a safe flight,” said Woodward.
Now the family is left saying the kind of goodbyes they never expected.
“It’s comforting to know that your friends, your family and your church family are as supportive as they are,” Woodward said, “because in times like this, you need that. You can’t do it on your own.”