Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
A former head of the Grant County Republican Party was killed and two of her passengers were injured in a plane crash Friday morning in the Gila National Forest.
New Mexico State Police spokesman Ray Wilson said the pilot, 74-year-old Linda Pecotte of Silver City, died and the two passengers were airlifted to a hospital.
Wilson said on Saturday that the conditions of the injured passengers are unknown. He said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
“Additional details about the investigation will be provided by those agencies,” Wilson said.
He said State Police responded around 11:15 a.m. to reports of a downed airplane in the area of Sheep Basin in the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico.
Wilson said they found a small plane had crashed with three people inside.
He said Pecotte was pronounced dead at the crash site by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
A 2014 Journal article cited Pecotte as the chairwoman of the Grant County Republican Party.
The Republican Party of New Mexico on Saturday released a statement following news of her death, calling Pecotte a “strong and dynamic force” who was “deeply involved in GOP politics for years.”
“She volunteered and campaigned for many candidates statewide and was a good friend of Chairman Steve Pearce,” the statement read.
Many took to social media to mourn the loss of Pecotte.
“Just learned of a loss of a family friend (my other mother) I’m heartbroken. RIP Linda Pecotte. You will be remembered!!” one woman wrote on Facebook.
Said another, “Goodbye to my friend, pilot and realtor Linda Pecotte, who was killed in a plane crash.”
According to her LinkedIn profile, Pecotte was also a Realtor, who attended Silver High School in Silver City.