FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --It's now been more than 48 hours since a Tulare County Sheriff's deputy and pilot died in a plane crash.
Scott Ballantyne, 52, and 45-year-old pilot James Chavez died when for unknown reasons, their plane crashed into a mountain near Lake Success.
Now that the smoke has settled, members of the Tulare County Sheriff's office can begin to move on. "And we're going to be stronger on the other side of this thing," Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. "But we just need to get through it, grieve and heal."
Two days after dying in a plane crash, funeral services are being set for Ballantyne and Chavez. The plane wreckage was removed from the crash scene on Friday morning, but the investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.
Boudreaux says he's been in close contact with investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, they're sharing information, including reports of another yellow plane flying low and erratically at the time of the crash. "It's highly unlikely, but having said that, we're looking at it and we're making sure," Boudreaux explained. So, theNTSB is very familiar with that and they're taking a strong look to see if there's any plausible reason why it would have contributed."
But at this point, the sheriff says his NTSB contact believes the other plane was not in the area at the time of the crash. "We're wanting to know the answers as all and I think the hardest thing for us and the sheriff's office family, as well as the families of those who lost their lives, is not knowing," Boudreaux said.