The Waterville woman who was seriously injured when a small plane crashed off Matinicus Island remained hospitalized on Wednesday, according to her husband.

Waterville artist Matthew Russ said his wife, Karen C. Ford, 53, remained at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after Sunday’s accident. Russ declined to give an update on Ford’s condition, citing privacy.

Ford remained listed in serious condition as of Tuesday afternoon, but on Wednesday a hospital spokeswoman said no further condition updates would be made public, at the request of the family.

“She’s doing fine,” Russ said, though he added that “we’re still in the midst of things here” and “it may be some time” before Ford is released from hospital care.

Ford has worked at Colby College in Waterville since 1997 and is the associate director of admissions and financial aid. She’s known as KC to friends and co-workers.

“I know people are concerned,” Russ said. “I am in touch with a pretty wide circle of immediate friends and family, and people in those circles are contacting others” to keep them apprised of Ford’s condition.


Meanwhile, the investigation into the probable cause of the crash is moving forward. Authorities initially said the five-person Cessna 206 appeared to develop engine trouble soon after takeoff and lost power.

Authorities have identified the location of the plane wreckage and are expecting to recover it sometime next week, according to Jose Obregon, a Miami-based air-safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. Obregon, the primary federal investigator, said the actual investigation will begin when the plane wreckage is recovered.

“It’s still in the sea; it’s pretty much intact,” Obregon said Wednesday. “It was identified near the scene of the crash, close by the island itself. Once the aircraft has been recovered, the actual examination of the aircraft begins.”

A preliminary report is typically written five to 10 days after the accident, Obregon said. It can take six months to a year to complete the factual report, which then goes the five board members of the transportation safety board in Washington. Those boards members will then rule on a probable cause of the crash.

“If safety issues are identified during the investigation, they’ll be addressed in the interim,” Obregon said.

An official with the Federal Aviation Administration official said Wednesday the federal agency is assisting with collecting evidence and scene documentation, but the transportation board is investigating on the FAA’s behalf.


Other agencies involved in the investigation include the Coast Guard, the Maine Marine Patrol and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Knox County Chief Deputy Tim Carroll couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Authorities said the Cessna — owned and operated by Penobscot Island Air Service of Owls Head — apparently took off from the island’s dirt airstrip, climbed about 200 feet, then developed engine trouble and lost power, crashing a few hundred yards offshore.

Aided by the injured pilot, Robert Hoffman, 69, of Rangeley, the plane’s three passengers were able to get out of the sinking plane and cling to it until people on Matinicus assisted them. Hoffman was treated and released from the hospital soon after the crash. He was not made available for comment by his employer, Penobscot Island Air Service.

In addition to Ford, the passengers were Eva Murray, 47, of Matinicus, and Abagail Read, 56, of Appleton.

Both were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland. A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday that Read was listed in fair condition and that Murray was discharged earlier in the day.

Scott Monroe — 861-9239

[email protected]

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