Body that washed onto Dungeness Spit identified

Spokane Valley woman was killed in seaplane crash

DUNGENESS — The woman whose torso was discovered on Dungeness Spit on Sept. 16 has been identified as having been a passenger on a seaplane that went down near Whidbey Island on Sept, 4.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney/Coroner’s Office announced Friday afternoon that woman was Patricia Ann Hicks, 66, of Spokane Valley.

According to Spokane television station KXLY’s website, Hicks was a retired schoolteacher and partner of civil rights activist Sandy Williams. She was on her way back home from a vacation in the San Juan Islands with Williams when the seaplane went down, it said.

Officials had suspected the body might have been from the seaplane that crashed into Mutiny Bay off Whidbey Island, killing 10. The State Patrol Crime Lab had been working with fingerprints taken during an autopsy as well as a fingerprint card obtained based upon a tentative identification.

“The Clallam and Island County coroner’s offices have been working closely throughout the entirety of this investigation in order to expedite identification as much as possible,” read a news release from the Clallam County Coroner’s Office.

”The family of Patricia Hicks has been notified of the identification.”

The torso included an intact hand from which fingerprints could be obtained, the sheriff’s office had said.

It was discovered on the seaward side of the Dungeness Spit by two people walking on the beach.

Nine adults and one child were aboard the plane when it crashed into the Strait. One person was found dead at the scene.

Besides Hicks and Williams, the others onboard were identified as Jason Winters (the pilot), Luke Ludwig and his wife Rebecca Ludwig, Joanne Mera, Gabrielle Hanna, Ross Mickel and his wife Lauren Hilty and their 22-month-old son Remy Mickel.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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