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3 men survive plane crash near Idaho Falls

Plane Crash 10pm Story

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The names of the three people who survived a plane crash in Bonneville County have been released. One of them is a prominent member of the National Republican Party.

Damond Watkins, 40, vice president of the Republican National Committee, was one of three men on the plane. Bonneville County Republican Central Committee Chair Doyle Beck said Watkins has extensive spinal injuries.

Watkins is also a vice president at Melaleuca.

Justin Manwaring, 36, and Bradley Hone, 35 were also on the plane. They were not hurt as seriously as Watkins.

Authorities are calling Hone a hero for his ability to safely land the plane in a field.

The plane crashed just before 4 p.m. Thursday at the 1000 block of 35th West.

According to the FAA Registry, the plane was heading back to Idaho Falls from Pocatello and was in Boise earlier in the day.

The three were attending a meeting with the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

One of the people who attended the meeting, but got off at Pocatello, was Josh Tolman.

"You have survivor's guilt, kind of," said Tolman, who is chief administrative officer at Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls. "You think if they hadn't dropped me off in Pocatello, would things have been differently, you run through a million different scenarios of what yould have done differently, but course, there is nothing you could have done differently.""

The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office said the National Transportation Safety Board is handling the investigation.

The sheriff's office had said Thursday the plane likely went down because of mechanical problems.

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