Two Fallon residents die in Oregon plane crash

Two prominent Fallon residents died Sunday evening their plane crashed into an auto dealership lot in Medford, Ore. 

Systems Consultants owner and pilot Donald Sefton and Churchill Arts Council Executive Director Valerie Serpa died in the crash, according to reports. 

Sefton’s 1977 Piper PA-31-350 crashed into the Medford Airport Chevrolet dealership shortly after taking off at 4:50 p.m. from the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, according to KDRV Channel 12 in Medford.

“Upon arrival, we had at least 20 vehicles that were fully involved,” said Medford Fire Department Chief Eric Thompson, the Associated Press reported. “We know that the aircraft took off from the Medford airport, they just filled up with fuel they had 128 gallons of fuel on board, and the incident occurred only a few minutes after they took off.”

According to flight logs, Sefton's plane left Fallon Municipal Airport on Nov. 24 and was scheduled to return 6:50 p.m. Sunday.

Serpa became the Churchill Arts Council first executive director in 1991. The Fallon native graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a in Art History and Cultural Anthropology. She received her masters degree in Visual Culture from Antioch University. She has been a member of the CAC since its inception. 

 “She has an extensive record of community service including being a founding board member of Domestic Violence Intervention,” according to the Churchill Arts Council website. “She has been a member of the Churchill Arts Council since its inception, a board member from 1987-89 and served as Chair from 1989-91. With the receipt of private funding in 1991, she became the council’s first executive director. She has been directly responsible for the council’s membership growth and community support. She oversees the day-to-day operations of all council programs and activities including booking of the council’s performing and visual arts season, publicity and promotion, artists-in-residence, scholarship and mini-grant programs, and is responsible for the development, coordination and fundraising for the council’s programs.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is on its way to the area.



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