FILE - In this May 4, 2005 file photo, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks debates an amendment to a retirement bill on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Capitol Building in Juneau, Alaska. A man killed in a plane crash Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Alaska's interior has been identified by his wife as former Republican state Rep. Mike Kelly, 74, of Fairbanks. Cherie Kelly told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that her husband's body will be flown to Anchorage. Clint Johnson, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska division, says the private plane crashed 17 miles southeast of Fairbanks with just one person on board.  (AP Photo/Seanna O'Sullivan, File)

FILE - In this May 4, 2005 file photo, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks debates an amendment to a retirement bill on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Capitol Building in Juneau, Alaska. A man killed in a plane crash Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Alaska's interior has been identified by his wife as former Republican state Rep. Mike Kelly, 74, of Fairbanks. Cherie Kelly told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that her husband's body will be flown to Anchorage. Clint Johnson, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska division, says the private plane crashed 17 miles southeast of Fairbanks with just one person on board. (AP Photo/Seanna O'Sullivan, File)

Ex-state Rep. Mike Kelly dies in Alaska plane crash

  • Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:15pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Former Republican state Rep. Mike Kelly of Fairbanks was killed Wednesday in a plane crash in Alaska’s interior, his wife has confirmed.

Cherie Kelly told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that her husband’s body will be flown to Anchorage before being returned to Fairbanks.

State Sen. John Coghill, a friend of Kelly’s, said that the Kelly family was gathering following the tragedy, Channel 2 reported.

The private plane crashed 17 miles southeast of Fairbanks with just one person on board, said Clint Johnson, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska division.

Alaska State Troopers reported that the American Champion Citabria crashed on property of Fort Wainwright.

Johnson said a military helicopter crew confirmed the fatality and wreckage. He added that NTSB investigators will be heading to the crash site, probably on Thursday.

The Daily News-Miner said that the 74-year-old Kelly is the brother of Sen. Pete Kelly of Fairbanks.

It said he served in the state Legislature from 2004 to 2010.

Officials of both the state House and Senate issued statement honoring Kelly and his work in the Legislature.

Kelly had a long public presence that included time on the University of Alaska Board of Regents, and nearly two decades leading Golden Valley Electric Association, the electric utility cooperative serving the Fairbanks region. He also worked many Fairbanks area civic organizations.

More in News

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna bumps vote on use of accessory housing as short-term rentals

An accessory dwelling unit is a subordinate, detached dwelling unit located on a lot or parcel with an existing residence

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Law enforcement to host women’s self-defense class in January

Within 48 hours of the course being advertised, 120 women had signed up to participate

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Local hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
EPA proposes restrictions to block Pebble Mine

Mine developer Pebble Limited Partnershi called the EPA’s decision a preemptive veto

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at this year’s final Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Building with the environment in mind

Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats conclude

Johni Blankenship signs her name after being sworn in as Soldotna City Clerk at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Blankenship sworn in as Soldotna city clerk

Blankenship comes to the City of Soldotna from the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Justin Ruffridge and Jesse Bjorkman for state office on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nov. 8 election results certified

The outcomes of local races for state office remain unchanged

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is photographed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
4 candidates vie for borough mayoral seat

The special election is slated for Feb. 14

Spruce trees are dusted with snow on Dec. 22, 2020, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Soldotna, Alaska. Some areas of the refuge are open to harvest of holiday trees for non-commercial uses beginning Thanksgiving. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Snowmachine use permitted in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge beginning Dec. 1

Areas now available include those “traditionally open to snowmachine use”

Most Read