Utah deputy, wife among 4 killed in plane crash near Cedar City

Steve Eatchel dedicated nearly 12 years of his life to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

(Utah County Sheriff's Office) Deputy Steve Eatchel was one of four people who died in a plane crash near Cedar City, Utah, on Saturday April, 23, 2022.

A Utah County Sheriff’s Office deputy was one of the four people killed in a weekend plane crash near Cedar City.

Deputy Steve Eatchel was approaching his 12-year work anniversary with the agency when he was killed in the Saturday wreck. His wife, Lindsay Eatchel, of Springville, also died in the crash.

The couple leaves behind four children, according to Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office.

“He was an easy-going guy and did his job well,” Cannon, who interacted with Steve Eatchel a few days before his death, said. Cannon added that his colleague was well-liked by everyone.

The plane, a 2004 Diamond DA-40 Aircraft, was seen taking off from Cedar City Airport, heading east on Saturday toward the mountains before it crashed with Eatchel at the helm.

Radar lost communication with the plane at 6:42 p.m. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fire about 5 miles outside Cedar City at about 6:47 p.m. Upon arrival, first responders discovered the remains of the downed aircraft.

Eatchel and his wife — along with Thomas Eatchel, of Heber City, and Danielle Deagostini, of Sandy City — were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Iron County Sheriff’s Office. The National Transportation and Safety Board is currently investigating the crash.

At the time of his death, Eatchel was working security for 4th District Court in Provo, according to Cannon. Prior to that, he worked as a corrections officer at the Utah County Jail, though Cannon noted Eatchel still picked up overtime shifts at the jail occasionally.

“People want to know what happened and what he was doing, what the family was doing, where they were going,” Cannon said. “And I think we’re all looking for ... ‘Oh, this didn’t really happen,’ but that’s not the answer we’re going to get.”

The UCSO released a statement Monday calling the crash a tragic accident, extending condolences to the Eatchel family.

“His kind manner and ever present smile will be missed,” the statement read of Steve Eatchel.

In response to the fatal crash, a family member created a GoFundMe page for Steven and Lindsay Eatchel, along with the deputy’s brother, Thomas Eatchel, to raise funds for funeral costs.

The page for the couple had raised more than $23,800 as of Monday afternoon; the page for the brother had raised more than $1,600.