Search and Rescue crews repelled into a valley on Mount Jupiter in Olympic National Park on Sunday to help two people who crashed the plane they were flying. Photo provided by the Washington Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

Coupeville doctor in ‘satisfactory stable’ condition following plane crash

A Coupeville ophthalmologist is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after surviving a plane crash Sunday in Olympic National Park.

Agencies involved with the rescue and investigation of the crash are not releasing the names of the victims, but Ria Claassen, office manager for Whidbey Eye Center, confirmed Thursday that Dr. Michael Mequio had been involved in a plane crash. She declined to comment further.

A spokesperson for Harborview reported that Mequio was in satisfactory stable condition and out of the intensive care unit.

Mequio and one other unidentified person reportedly crashed a Cirrus SR-22 into the side of Mount Jupiter inside the national park. The plane took off from Everett.

Just before 4 p.m. Sunday, the Department of Transportation received an emergency signal, the Peninsula Daily News reported. Around the same time, another aircraft reported to air traffic controllers in Seattle that they had heard a mayday call from a small aircraft over the radio.

A Search and Rescue crew from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island responded and located the wreckage in a snowy valley at 5,700 feet.

Crews noted the plane’s parachute hadn’t deployed and opted to approach from a further distance in case it inadvertently deployed, the Navy reported.

Medical technicians from Search and Rescue, along with the Helicopter Inland Rescue Aircrewman, rappelled down to the survivors where they were assessed, treated and prepared for transport.

Both Mequio and the other person were airlifted to Harborview.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, but according to Ian Gregor, a public information officer for the FAA, it might take months for an investigation to conclude the cause.

ABC News reported the National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the crash and that the survivors were a student and instructor.

Whidbey Eye Center’s website describes Mequio as an active outdoorsman and humanitarian who has travelled oversees to provide ophthalmology services in the Philippines, Thailand and Zambia.

Mequio

A Coupeville ophthalmologist is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after surviving a plane crash Sunday in Olympic National Park. Agencies involved with the rescue and investigation of the crash are not releasing the names of the victims, but Ria Claassen, office manager for Whidbey Eye Center, confirmed Thursday that Dr. Michael Mequio had […]

More in News

Class teaches disaster readiness

‘There’s no reason not to be prepared’

State lawmaker aims to improve recycling process

Many people feel a sense of accomplishment when they opt to recycle… Continue reading

Van driver accused of ramming pickup truck

The driver of a van is accused of chasing a down a… Continue reading

New building permit fees expected to reduce costs

The Board of Island County Commissioners is set to vote on building… Continue reading

Contributed photo — Erin Kelly was so appreciative of Marc Swenson’s efforts that she baked him a “Thank You” cake.
Volunteer firefighter saves neighbor’s home

A quick response by a local firefighter may have helped save a… Continue reading

Gifts from the Heart turns sweet 16

Clients at Gifts at the Heart Food Bank will be in for… Continue reading

Man arrested for pawning stolen student robotics club’s telescope

A man faces a felony charge after getting caught pawning a telescope… Continue reading

Tiny bugs bite into WhidbeyHealth budget

But it still came out $1.3 million ahead for 2017

Rick Almberg
To nobody’s surprise, city’s sewer rates on the high end

Due to low-interest-rate loans, Oak Harbor’s projected sewer rates aren’t going to… Continue reading

Most Read