Small plane crash
Officials survey the scene where a small plane crash landed on a residential street in Bayonne, New Jersey, Feb. 19, 2017. Reuters/Ashlee Espinal

Utah Department of Public Safety identified the four victims of a plane crash Wednesday in Weber County on Interstate 15 near Riverdale Road, about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City. Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched an investigation into the crash.

The deceased were identified as 48-year-old Layne Clarke and his 42-year-old wife, Diana Clarke, as well as 45-year-old Perry Huffaker and his wife Sarah Huffaker, 42, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. The two couples were aboard the single-engine Beech A36 Bonanza and were reportedly on their way to Island Park, Idaho for a vacation.

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Layne was piloting the plane at the time of the crash, his friend Jeff Henderson said, according to the Associated Press. Clarke — a business owner — received his pilot’s license about five years back, Henderson reportedly added.

The crash occurred shortly after the plane took off from the Ogden-Hinckley Airport, Allen Kenitzer, spokesman for the FAA said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The incident led to the closure of lanes of I- 15 in Riverdale.

All of I-15's northbound lanes were shut down and all, except one. That is the southbound lanes which were closed following the incident.

"I-15, if you can think about it, is our most heavily-traveled interstate in Utah. And to shut this down, northbound, during the evening commute, that's going to cause considerable inconvenience for a lot of folks," Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said, according to Fox13.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

"We're here in Weber County, three lane interstate. It's usually very busy. It's actually pretty miraculous that no one got hit that was traveling in there," Sgt. Todd Royce, a spokesman for Utah Highway Patrol reportedly said.

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Randy Paulson, who witnessed the crash, told CBS affiliate KUTV the plane was heading south, "trying to gain altitude." He said the plane appeared to be about 300 feet in the air when its engine made a "super loud sound" and the plane dropped toward the Interstate.

"It was a big black solid red ball of fire," Paulson reportedly said. "There's no way you could've survived it."

"As soon as it started to make a right bank, it went vertical drop straight down onto the freeway," Paulson told KUTV. "It caught everything on fire."

According to the Standard-Examiner, Perry Huffaker was Ogden City’s parks director.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of our colleague. Ogden is a better place because of Perry’s service,” Ogden City Council said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Utah Department of Public Safety stated its victim services division is “assisting Weber County Advocates to set up a Family Assistance Center where next of kin and witnesses of today’s freeway plane crash can receive information and assistance.”

“A Family Assistance Center is a secure facility established to serve as a centralized location to provide information and assistance victims and victim families when there is a mass casualty,” the department said, in a statement.