FLORENCE, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 and Channel 2 confirmed the names of the four people who died after a small Cessna plane crashed near Cañon City on Saturday morning.

“The four individuals that were on that flight are pillars of the community,” said Kevin Mahmalji, a friend of some of the victims on board.

Bruce Claremont, Laurie Aves and Roger and Katherine Duncan, all from Florence, were killed in the crash, according to the Teller County Coroner’s Office.

“I don’t know what’s going to come of that little town, ’cause they contributed a lot to that town,” Bobbie Snarr said, referring to her friends, the Duncans.

Snarr and Mahmalji said the Duncans and Aves owned businesses in Florence.

Mahmalji said the Duncans owned an ice cream shop and a rock and mineral store, and they helped open a burger shop, properties and other businesses in town.

“There is so much they are involved with, Roger specifically,” Mahmalji said.

According to friends, Aves owned an antique shop in town. Snarr said the Duncans and Aves were good friends.

“They were all powerhouses. Laurie was their good friend. They were a great group of people,” Aves said.

Laurie Aves and Roger and Katherine Duncan

Plane crash investigation underway

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the crash but provided the information below to FOX31 and Channel 2:

“It is very early in the investigation and there is not much information available at this time. What I can provide is that an NTSB investigator began yesterday documenting the scene, examining the aircraft, requested any air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports and try to contact any witnesses. Also, the investigator will request maintenance records of the aircraft, and medical records and flight history of the pilot.

The preliminary information available currently is that a Pool-Cessna T-41B2 crashed in mountainous terrain southeast of Victor. Post-impact fire ensued near Victor, CO. The airplane departed Fremont County Airport, Canon City, Colorado, on 5/6/2023 about 9:30 am MDT, en route to Centennial Airport, Englewood, Colorado and was located on 5/7. Again, this is preliminary information.

It is important to note that NTSB does not determine cause in the early part of the investigative process. This is considered the fact gathering phase of the investigation.  A preliminary report may be available in about 10-12 business days. A link to the preliminary report will be issued via Twitter @NTSB_Newsroom when it becomes available. A typical NTSB investigation can take 12-24 months to complete and determine cause.”

National Transportation Safety Board

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bruce Claremont was the owner of the aircraft that went down Saturday morning. FOX31 and Channel 2 confirmed with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association that Claremont was a member.