GoFundMe gathers donations for victim of Soldotna crash
A GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit the family of David Rogers, one of the seven people who died Friday morning in a midair collision near Soldotna.
He was a guide at High Adventure Air, which flies out of Longmere Lake, east of Soldotna. Rogers, pilot Greg Bell and four clients from South Carolina were in a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver. Kenai Rep. Gary Knopp, who was running for reelection to his Kenai District 30 seat, was the sole occupant of a Piper PA-12.
Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
Maddy McElrea works at High Adventure Air and set up the GoFundMe account to cover the expenses of getting Rogers and his dog home Kansas, as well as funeral and other expenses. Rogers had a wife, Rhonda, and three kids.
“And just really anything that’s going to help them get through these next few months. Because I know that David was kind of the worker in the family for them,” McElrea said.
Rogers was 40 and lived in Stockton, Kansas. McElrae said this was his fourth year with High Adventure Air. He had his own guiding business, Beyond the Bend, in Kansas. According to his obituary, he was an avid sports fan, especially if his kids were playing, and a culinary adventurer, figuring out ways to make butter into its own food group. He was known for his incorrigible sense of humor, devotion to his friends and family and enjoyment of life.
“You know, there’s a lot to say but he was just one of a kind — always happy to be here, no matter what situation, good or bad. Always happy, always had a sparkle in his eyes,” McElrea said.
High Adventure Air returned to doing trips on Tuesday. Greg Bell was part of the family that owns and operates the charter, as well as a lead pilot. McElrae said the family and staff are hanging in there.
“It’s been real heavy but we have had so much support coming in from the community, friends and family. And most importantly, we have each other going through this. So we’re doing the best we can, day by day. We’re glad to be back at it and doing what we love,” McElrea said.
McElrae said the Bell family is requesting memorial donations in honor of Greg be made to the David Rogers GoFundMe account. The goal is $10,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, it was up to just over $2,400.