Authorities Confirm 3 Dead In W.V. Plane Crash

MOOREFIELD, W.V. (AP) - Officials say the three people who were on board a plane that crashed in eastern West Virginia are dead.

Hardy County emergency management director Paul Lewis says search teams reached the crash site Thursday night and confirmed the fatalities.

A state medical examiner at the scene says officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected before noon Friday.

The Piper PA-32 Saratoga went missing Sunday night as it was heading to Johnstown, Pa.

It dropped out of radio and radar contact in bad weather Sunday night, 12 miles southeast of the Grant County Airport in Petersburg.

Family members have identified those on board as pilot Michael Garrone of Allegheny Township, Pa., 52-year-old Chas Armitage Jr. of Parks Township, Pa., and his girlfriend, 49-year-old Laura Stettmier.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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