Bellingham family grieving over loss of four, including two children, in plane crash

BELLINGHAM, Wash -- A Bellingham family is grieving over the loss of four loved ones who were killed in a plane crash last week.

Two of the victims were only 9 and 5 years old.

“It’s just so hard to envision what my future holds without them here,” said Liz Echevarria, the mother of victims Logan, 9, and Mackenzie Echevarria, 5.

Logan and Mackenzie were in the four-seat Cessna with their grandmother, Carla Parke, and her finance, Jon Bernhoft.

The four were flying back to Port Angeles after spending the day in Seattle when outside of Quilcene, officials say, the small plane went down. It’s still unknown what caused the crash.

“They were so loved, and so many people loved them, and they will truly be missed forever,” said Liz Echevarria.

Sending her kids on the plane always made Echevarria and her husband a little nervous.

“I had been on the plane before I let them go. I was really apprehensive about it. My husband, too. We were always really concerned about their safety. Not because we didn’t trust Jon but because it’s scary,” added Echevarria.

Logan and Mackenzie were students at Northern Heights Elementary in Bellingham, where school counselors have been on hand this week to help students and staff.

Liz said both Logan and Mackenzie have been on Bernhoft’s plane several times before.

It was something Logan loved to do.

“Logan was super excited to be on the plane and he would tell people he was the co-pilot, just because he got to sit in the front seat,” said Echevarria.

She said Logan loved to be outdoors in nature and with animals, while his sister loved to dance and make people laugh.

“I guess what I’ll miss the most is their smiling faces every day. Just being with them every day,” said Echevarria.

Pilot Jon Bernhoft and Carla Parke were a month away from getting married. The two had been together for almost two years.

Now, the family is planning a memorial service for the four victims.