SC college student 1 of 6 killed in Alaska plane crash

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Coastal Carolina University student was one of six people killed in a plane crash in Alaska last week, the university confirmed to News13 Tuesday.

Rachel McArthur, 20, of Woodstock, Georgia, was one of the six people on a sightseeing plane that crashed last week. McArthur was a junior majoring in Intelligence and National Security, according to university spokesperson Martha Hunn.

McArthur was also an intern with the Roswell Police Department in Georgia, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

McArthur made the President’s Honors List for the fall 2020 semester, according to online records.

“Coastal Carolina University President Michael Benson, the Board of Trustees, and university leaders express our deepest condolences to Rachel’s family and friends,” a statement reads.

Joseph Fitsanakis, Professor of Intelligence and Security Studies, shared his reflections on McArthur and the impacts she had on campus.

From the moment she joined the Intelligence and Security Studies program at CCU, Rachel, or “Rae”, as we all called her, became an integral part of our activities. Our program is highly competitive and prepares students for careers in some of our government’s most high-powered agencies, including the FBI, the NSA and the CIA. But Rae was not one to be intimidated by competition, and she excelled in every way imaginable, both inside and outside the classroom. To this day, she remains the only freshman to receive the prestigious Intelligence Award by our program’s flagship pre-professional initiative, the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief (CIB), in recognition of her constant improvement, dedication and hard work in the field of intelligence. She was also a published author in the area of immigration and security, and an active member of Women and Intelligence and National Security (WINS). In the past year, Rae was helping produce analytical products on criminal activity for use by law enforcement in Horry County through our program’s CCU’s Coastal Law Enforcement Analysis and Research (CLEAR) initiative. Additionally, she was completing an internship with the Roswell Police Department in Roswell, Georgia, while also focusing on research in Languages and Intercultural Studies, as well as in Criminology, two areas in which she was minoring at CCU.

Given the above, Rae’s absence will leave a huge hole in what we do here in the intelligence program at CCU, both in terms of her academic presence –which was remarkable– but also her personality and charisma. She was a role model for many of her fellow students, and the kind of person that gives meaning to what we, as professors at CCU, do, day in and day out. Rae came to us in pursuit of her dream to work for the United States government and help make this country safer for everyone. We will continue to work toward that goal, driven by admiration and respect for Rae’s unique legacy. May she rest in peace, and may the surviving members of her family find comfort in the knowledge that she touched as all in a unique way while she was with us. We will not forget her.”

The plane she was on was returning to Ketchikan on Thursday from a tour of Misty Fjords National Monument when it crashed.

The plane carried five passengers and the pilot. The Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as Rolf Lanzendorfer, 64, of Cle Elum, Washington.

Troopers identified the passengers as Mark Henderson, 69, and Jacquelyn Komplin, 60, both of Napa, California; Andrea McArthur, 55, and Rachel McArthur, 20, both of Woodstock; and Janet Kroll, 77, of Mount Prospect, Illinois.

The troopers reported Saturday that the bodies had been recovered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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