Update: Victim of Friday afternoon plane crash has been identified

UPDATE 2/25: St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office released the identity of the 52-year-old man from Hermantown who was found dead at the scene of Friday’s plane crash. The deceased has been identified as David Rathbun.

One person is dead following a plane crash on Friday afternoon near the Bong Bridge, according to St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay. Authorities say the plane crashed on the Superior side of the Bong Bridge around 4:00 p.m. on Friday. The Northland Firewire did confirm to WDIO News it was a Cirrus SR-22 aircraft.

A 52-year-old Hermantown man was confirmed deceased on the scene and no one else was in the aircraft at the time of the crash. The deceased has been identified as David Rathbun.

Police say they do not believe the plane hit the Bong Bridge and no structures in the area were damaged. The crash happened on the ice of the harbor. 

Approximate location of plane crash.

Witnesses nearby told WDIO News that they heard a loud crash. Traffic continues to move across the Bong Bridge.

Authorities have set up near Grassy Point, which is near where the crash occurred. A WDIO News photographer says there is a lot of debris and First Responders continue to search the wreckage.

St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay Tweeted at 4:46 p.m. that the plane is “described as a smaller plane that is partially submerged. Searching for any survivors at this time.”

The FAA and NTSB have been notified and are also responding to the scene for the crash investigation.

Agencies that responded included the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Duluth Fire Department, US Coast Guard and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The Midwest Medical Examiners office responded for the death investigation.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available.

This story has been changed to reflect that officials do not believe that the Bong Bridge was hit by the plane.