2 survive crash of small plane outside Port Angeles

FRESHWATER BAY — Two men in search of a Sequim dentist missing off the Pacific Coast walked away from a plane crash Sunday afternoon, shaken but unhurt.

“We ran out of gas and crashed,” passenger Paul Gardner, 40, of Olympia, said after he was checked by paramedics near the plane’s wreckage.

Gardner and pilot Robert Losey, 56, of Silverdale, were on a search mission for Washington State Aviation Air Search and Rescue, looking for Dr. Richard Meyers, who has been missing since Tuesday.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, the plane, a four-seat 1964-model Cessna 172, glided without power for about 600 yards and crashed into a seasonal creek bed between two pastures just west of Freshwater Bay Road, witnesses and deputies said. The scene was about a quarter-mile north of U.S. Highway 101.

Medics with Joyce Fire District No. 4 treated the two at the scene then took them to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles for observation.

The plane’s fuel gauge may have been malfunctioning because it showed three quarters full at the coast, but then registered only a quarter tank shortly thereafter, Clallam County sheriff’s investigators said.

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