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LOOKOUT PASS, Idaho — A single-engine airplane crashed Thursday near north Idaho's Lookout Pass ski resort, killing the two western Washington men aboard, Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds said.

The names of the victims weren't released Thursday night pending notification of relatives.

The 1980 Cessna, registered to the pilot, appeared to have hit trees in dense fog at an elevation of 6,500 feet, lost a wing and plunged nose-first to the ground on a gravel road in dense woods, Reynalds said.

The pilot may have been following Interstate 90 through the mountains, the sheriff told The Spokesman-Review.

"It was foggy. … If they veer off the freeway a little bit, which is easy to do, they hit those trees," he said.

The plane took off from western Washington, refueled in Coeur d'Alene and was headed to Missoula, Mont., Reynalds said. It appeared the passenger had chartered the plane for a business trip, he said.

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A representative from the Spokane office of the Federal Aviation Administration made a preliminary assessment Thursday. Reynalds posted deputies to guard the site until crash investigators from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board could arrive.

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