Chanhassen family's small plane crashes in New Mexico, with four hurt

  • Updated: July 3, 2014 - 8:11 PM

A Twin Cities-owned private airplane crashed while trying to land at a northeastern New Mexico airport, leaving the pilot badly hurt and his wife and two daughters injured, officials said Thursday.

The crash of the single-engine Cessna 210L occurred about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Las Vegas Municipal Airport 5 miles northeast of Las Vegas, N.M., said Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The six-seater propeller plane was traveling from Ames, Iowa, he added.

Police identified the pilot as James A. Fretham, 50, of Chanhassen. He was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe in critical condition and remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon in stable condition.

Treated and released were his wife, Elizabeth Fretham, 49, and daughters Grace Fretham, 15, and Caitrin Fretham, 21, who was a student this past semester at Iowa State University in Ames.

James Fretham is an account executive for Visions Inc., of Brooklyn Park, an integrated marketing solutions provider. Visions CEO Jon Otto said “a member of the Visions family had a very tragic accident, and we are all saddened by the news.”

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are working to determine the circumstances leading up to the crash.

Paul Walsh

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