Woman Who Survived Plane Crash Dies in ATV Crash

Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers.
Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

St. Mary’s Troopers responded to a fatal ATV crash in Marshall Wednesday. The woman killed is the survivor of a plan crash in 2013.

An investigation found that 26-year-old Melanie Coffee, of Marshall died after hitting a tree on the Old Airport Road just outside town.

Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers.
“The wreck was not witnessed. It is believed that it was at a high rate of speed and she went airborne and then hit a tree. She was found the next day by villagers who then called troopers and then we responded out there to do the on scene investigation.” Coffee was one of six survivors of a plane crash near St. Mary’s in November 2013 that killed four other people. The Association of Village Council Presidents honored Coffee posthumously at their convention in Bethel Thursday where Vivian Korthuis with AVCP presented members of her tribe with a special award for her bravery. “Melanie Coffee, despite being injured herself walked through the snow and tangles of brush to reach the road and direct the first responders to crash victims during the crash of a Cessna 208 in November 2013.” AVCP Convention attendees also took a moment of silence to remember Coffee. Next of kin has been notified. Troopers say foul play is not suspected and alcohol was involved. Coffee’s body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.