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Two-time Olympic runner killed in Arizona plane crash

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEDONA, Ariz. -- A two-time Olympic distance runner, his 15-year-old son and his son's friend were killed in a fiery plane crash in Sedona, Ariz., his wife confirmed Friday.

Pat Porter was piloting the twin-engine Cessna when it went crashed on takeoff Thursday morning, killing all aboard, including son Connor and his classmate Connor Mantsch, said Trish King Porter.

Officials said the plane was immediately engulfed in flames.

An FAA database showed the plane was registered to Porter, but the family and authorities had declined to confirm the victims' identities before Trish King Porter called a news conference. The 14-year-old Mantsch attended Albuquerque Academy with her son.

She said her husband and the boys had been to Sedona for three days before the plane went down.

She said she and her husband had exchange a series "humorous test messages" before the plane went down.

"My last test message to him: 'When are you coming home?' " said Trish Porter at a press conference with her daughter, Shannon, 11, beside her.

Porter, also a former Olympian, said she found out the crash Thursday afternoon coming back for ice skating training for Shannon. She said detailed remained unclear how the plane crashed.

The former 10,000-meter Olympian and 13-time distance runner national champion Pat Porter married high jumper Trish King Porter in 1991 after the two met during a pre-Olympic training camp for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, according to Trish King Porter's website. Trish competed in the 1988 games as a high jumper.

The couple moved to Albuquerque in 1994.

"He made me laugh," the Menlo Park, Calif., native said. "He was just a lot of fun."

Pat Porter was a graduate of Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo., and had been inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame earlier this month, according to a spokesman at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

He was a track star at Evergreen High School and had won eight USA Track & Field senior men's cross-country national championships.

Connor Porter was nationally ranked in fencing. His classmate, Connor Mantsch, was preparing for his freshman year at Albuquerque Academy and was a soccer player, said a family spokeswoman.

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