Authorities identify Meyers plane crash victims |

Authorities identify Meyers plane crash victims

by Steve Ranson Nevada News Group
A firefighter stands next to a crashed aircraft last week.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Tribune

Naval Air Station Fallon on Monday released the name of a medical officer who was killed Tuesday in a single-engine airplane crash in South Lake Tahoe Basin.

The passenger who was airlifted from the scene also died at a regional hospital.

NAS spokesman Zip Upham said Cmdr. Christopher Joas, 53, died when the plane he was piloting crashed in a wooded area near the community of Meyers. Joas was assigned to the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at Fallon on June 30, 2017 as the senior flight surgeon, and according to Upham,  he was scheduled to leave Fallon in less than a month and report to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

According to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, deputies found the Cessna Skyhawk II July 7 crumpled and upside down in a wooded area with two people on board. The sheriff’s department reported the pilot died at the scene, and another passenger was airlifted in critical condition to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno where she later died.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner identified the passenger Monday afternoon as Margaret McGuire, 51, who had recently owned the 8 Pieces of 8 shop on South Taylor Street in Fallon. 

The Fallon Chamber of Commerce said McGuire, who was known as Peggy on her Facebook page, closed her business in May and relocated to Reno. 

The crash occurred off California State Route 89 near several homes. There was no fire associated with the crash. The ECSO said it has been in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, who will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.  

Upham said Joas came to Fallon from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake where he was a flight physician and flight surgeon for VX-9, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine (AIRTEVRON NINE, The Vampires). During his tour in Fallon, Upham said Joas was involved with the Longhorns Search and Rescue and accompanied the crew for training and provided medical assistance.