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HomeU.S.Eugene "Buzzy" Peltola Jr.: Husband of Alaska Representative Mary Peltola dies in...

Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr.: Husband of Alaska Representative Mary Peltola dies in plane crash | CNN Politics

Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr.: Husband of Alaska Representative Mary Peltola dies in plane crash |  CNN Politics

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images/File

Rep. Mary Peltola hugs her husband, Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola, during a swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.


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Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr., the husband of Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, died in a plane crash in Alaska, according to a statement from the congresswoman’s office.

“He was one of those people who was obnoxiously good at everything. She had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments. She was definitely the cook of the family. And family was the most important thing to him. He was completely devoted to his parents, children, siblings, family and friends, and he simply adored Mary. “We are heartbroken by the family’s loss,” read the statement, which was shared on Peltola’s X account on Wednesday morning.

The statement asked for privacy for the Peltola family and said the congresswoman will return to her home in Alaska.

Preliminary information provided by National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy on Wednesday afternoon revealed that the plane crashed in a remote, mountainous region of Alaska, 64 miles north of St. Mary’s. The pilot was the only person on board and had brought a hunter and equipment to the area. Alaska officials received a transmission from an emergency locator beacon at 8:48 p.m. Tuesday night.

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Although Homendy declined to name the pilot, he referred questions about his identity to the congresswoman’s statement.

Eugene Peltola was regional director of the Alaska Bureau of Indian Affairs for several years before retiring in 2022.

In a statement Wednesday, President Joe Biden said he had spoken with the congresswoman and offered his condolences.

“Buzzy was a devoted public servant and in the tributes pouring in today from across the state, he is remembered as a friend to all. But we know that he was, first and always, the adored and devoted husband and father to a now-suffering family,” he said.

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Rep. Peltola and her daughter joined Biden in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday to commemorate the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“On Monday, Mary flew with me back to Washington on Air Force One with everyone ahead of us,” the president said. “Today I spoke with her with that world destroyed by shock and sadness.”

Biden himself lost his wife in a tragic accident early in his political career: his first wife, Neilia Biden, died in a car accident in 1972 that also claimed the life of their daughter Naomi.

Members of Congress also offered their condolences Wednesday.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who also represents Alaska, said in a post on warmth, generosity and charm. It was easy to see why so many Alaskans called him their friend and how his family loved him so much.”

“My heart goes out to Mary and her family during this deeply difficult loss. “Mary has been an exceptional colleague and it is clear that her husband Buzzy touched many lives with her warmth and kindness,” said Democratic Representative Judy Chu of California. tweeted.

Peltola’s death continues a tragic history with politicians and aerial incidents in the state. In 1972, a plane carrying House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and Alaska Representative Nicholas Begich disappeared between Anchorage and Juneau and was never recovered. Decades later, in 2010, former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska died in a plane crash on a remote Alaska mountain.

In 2020, the NTSB revealed that from 2008 to 2017, Alaska’s overall aviation accident rate was 2.35 times higher than the rest of the United States, with a fatal accident rate that was 1.34 times higher.

This story has been updated with additional details.



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