Two victims of the vintage World War II airplane crashed at the Reno-Stead Airport on Friday have been identified by their families as Michael Wogan, 22, from Arizona, and Greg Morcom, 47 from Washington.
The two people lives intersected in the most tragic of ways Friday, when the airplane careened into the VIP box seats at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.
Michael Wogan and Greg Morcom were among the nine people killed in the accident.
The 74-year-old pilot of the P-51 Mustang, Jimmy Leeward, died as well.
Both identified victims were making their first trip to the air races, where souped-up planes blast around an air track marked by pylons.
Since 1972, 19 pilots have died at the NASCAR races in the sky, but Friday was the first time when spectators have been killed.
Greg Morcom’s brother, Ron, who owns an aviation facility, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that his brother died instantly.
Specialists are investigating why Jimmy Leeward’s Galloping Ghost suddenly pitched upward and then nosedived during a high-speed race, digging out a 3-foot-deep crater in the tarmac and sending 69 people to the hospital.
As the death toll rose and suspicion fell on a missing piece from the plane’s tail, survivors grappled with opposing emotions. Many people have been worried about the future of a beloved aviation event, even as they were haunted by images of graphic horror they likened to a battlefield or a terrorist attack.
Eight people remained in critical condition Saturday night, including Michael Wogan’s father, Bill, who lost his right eye and some fingers.
Michael Wogan had congenital muscular dystrophy, as did two of his three brothers. Michael had recently graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in business and finance and started a social media marketing company, according to the Arizona Republic.