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Rocklin woman known in community as an aviation enthusiast among 8 victims in Idaho plane crash

Kelly Kreeger, 61, was a retired Placer County employee and aviation enthusiast well known for her work in the community.

ROCKLIN, Calif — A 61-year-old Rocklin woman is believed to be one of eight people who died after two planes crashed and fell into an Idaho lake on July 5, family members told ABC10.

Sandy Inman said that her sister Kelly Kreeger, a retired Placer County employee, was a passenger of a Cessna that collided with a seaplane over Coeur D'Alene Lake in Idaho.

Kreeger was an aviation enthusiast well known for her work in the community and with WWII U.S. Army Air Forces ace Bud Anderson, 98. Kreeger launched and was president of the elderly Veteran's "super fan club" which attracted many young people to learn about veterans and the history of WWII.

"She was very cheerful and very positive," Anderson said.

The two were close friends for six years after meeting at the Auburn Air Show. Kreeger later traveled with Anderson to other airshows in Wisconsin, Texas and Hawaii.

Since learning of Kreeger's death, her family has been overwhelmed with messages on social media, Inman said. The family is asking for prayers for closure, that officials will recover Kreeger’s soon.

"Was so sad to read about Rocklin resident, and my friend, Kelly Kreeger who passed away in an airplane collision in Idaho yesterday," Rocklin City Councilman Joe Patterson wrote on Facebook.

"Having previously worked with Placer County, she taught me a lot about the 'inner workings,'" Patterson wrote. "She also helped a lot in the community and brought American hero Bud Anderson to Rocklin Public Safety Foundation’s Patriot Day. RIP Kelly."

Two people were confirmed aboard the Cessna and six were flying on the seaplane, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say they have confirmed the names of the victims on the Cessna but are not releasing their names until their bodies are recovered and identified by the local coroner's office.

Divers have recovered six of the eight victims in the wreckage which is nearly 130 feet below the lake, according to the KCSO. High winds have made it difficult for divers to recover the other two bodies.

The sheriff's office has identified five of the six passengers and crew on the seaplane, owned by Brooks Seaplane, which offers paid flights over the lake to tourists.

The pilot was identified as Neil Lunt, 58, of Liberty Lake. Passengers of the aircraft were Sean K. Fredrickson, 48, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, a 16-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy. The juveniles listed are Fredrickson's children and step children.

Another man on the plane has yet to be identified.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Giacomo Luca.

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