MARYSVILLE, Ohio (WTVN) -- An Ohio family of three was killed in Colorado when their plane crashed near a ski resort Monday morning about 55 miles west of Denver.
The Clear Creek Sheriff's Office identified the victims as 43-year-old James Kerker, 39-year-old Amy Kerker, and 6-year-old Lucas Kerker, of Raymond, Ohio. They were on vacation en route to Moab, Utah.
Witnesses say the plane appeared to be trying to cross the Continental Divide, but turned around when it appeared to not have the power needed to clear the mountains.
Former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Greg Feith tells our sister station, 850 KOA in Denver, that there won't be a record of what was said in the cockpit.
"There is no black box on these general aviation airplanes," he said.
Eyewitness accounts will be vital to investigators, according to Feith.
Lucas, a kindergarten student at Mill Valley Elementary School in Marysville, had a terminal illness. He was named an official Jr. Trooper by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in January after they learned he wanted to become a police officer when he grew up.
"The Mill Valley staff is heart-broken to hear of the news of this tragedy and has the family of the Kerker’s in their thoughts during this difficult time," said Marysville Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Diane Mankins. "Marysville is a close-knit community and this impacts us all."
She described Lucas as a kid with a smile that would light up a room.
The family had flown out of Union County Airport on Friday.
VIDEO OF LUCAS' JR. TROOPER SWEARING IN - Courtesy Ohio St Highway Patrol
(Photo courtesy 9News Denver)