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Plane crash in park claims 2

Pilot was a former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner




A former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner and an Arizona man were killed Friday morning in a plane crash in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
    The crash killed 66-year-old John W. Keys III, of Moab, and a 50-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., man. It occurred about 10:30 a.m., a witness told the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.
    The men were on a scenic flight over Canyonlands when the Cesena 172 that Keys was piloting crashed. Keys was a pilot for Red Tail Aviation.
    San Juan Sheriff Office Sgt. Kelly Bradford said investigators have not determined the cause of the crash. The plane wreckage was found and the bodies of both men were recovered. The name of the Arizona man was not released.
    Keys was a reclamation employee for about four decades who once served as Pacific Northwest regional director. He was running unopposed for a Grand County council seat when he died, said friend John Weisheit.
    Weisheit floated the Colorado River with Keys last year, and also debated him on Utah's water rights as executive director of Living Rivers, a Moab-based activist group.
    I'm sad, you know," Weisheit said. "I can't believe it. I just saw him the other day and he looked great."
    Weisheit said Keys was always friendly adding, "He was definitely a bureau boy. He liked water projects."

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