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Airplane crash victims died from severe blunt force trauma

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NORTH ELBA - The three people who were killed in a Saturday plane crash in North Elba died from severe blunt force trauma, according to New York State Police.

They said an autopsy conducted by Dr. C. Francis Varga on Monday at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake determined that Fred Y. Kafka, 63, of Vienna, West Virginia; Kathleen F. Kafka, 24, of Canton; and Reed Phillips, 25, of Midland, Michigan, all died from severe blunt force trauma caused by the airplane crash. Their manner of death was ruled accidental by Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw.

The accident is still under investigation by state police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ms. Kafka and Mr. Phillips were both Clarkson University graduate students. Ms. Kafka was a physical therapy graduate and Mr. Phillips was a physical therapy student. The plane was piloted by Mr. Kafka when it went down near the Lake Placid Airport.

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