Mary Lagerquist dies in plane crash off Smith Island

Authorities have recovered the body of a woman believed to be the victim of the small plane crash Sunday in the Chesapeake Bay off Smith Island.

The recovered body has is tentatively believed to be Mary L. Lagerquist, 78, of Sequim, Washington, the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and Virginia Marine Police said in a news release. The body has not been positively identified. It was found at about 9 a.m. Monday in the water off the southern point of Smith Island.

The plane’s pilot and Lagerquist’s son Lanson, C. Ross, III was treated at a hospital last night and released. The 48-year-old lives in Ft. Washington, Md.

Ross told State Police investigators that the plane lost power and crashed into the waters. He said both he and his mother were able to exit the plane before it sank.

Both tried to swim to Smith Island, but after about a mile in rough water with waves three to five feet high, he said his mother died. Ross told police he continued swimming and was able to reach Smith Island about 8 p.m. Sunday.

State Police have notified officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. Those agencies will be responsible for investigating the cause of the crash. The plane has not been located or recovered at this time.