Three Die in Plane Crash on the Way to CNFR

Two Washington State men and an Oregon woman were killed in a small plane crash while on their way to attend the CNFR to see their family members perform. 

Authorities identified the victims as the 74-year-old pilot, Gerald Hunter; 53-year-old Ned Kayser and 51-year-old Janice Davis. 

Kayser was a longtime cowboy on the Columbia River Circuit. 

His daughter, Kelli, competed this week in breakaway roping for UNLV. 

Janice Davis was Miss Rodeo Oregon in 1981, and comes from a large extended family of rodeo competitors. 

Three of her nieces are scheduled to compete this week. 

The plane reportedly hit a violent thunderstorm not long after taking off from the Dalles municipal airport in Dallesport, Washington. 

Emergency management officials say their plane crashed in a rugged mountain area of Eastern Oregon early Sunday. 

The exact circumstances of the crash are unknown, pending an FAA investigation.