The investigation into the cause of the crash that killed Oakland resident Bill McKay on Tuesday will be hampered by the crash site’s remoteness, a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said.

McKay died when the Cessna 185 seaplane he was piloting crashed near Lake St. Pierre, about 50 miles north of Baie-Comeau, Quebec. His daughter, Katie Turner, and son-in-law, Mike Turner, survived the crash and hiked to a scarcely traveled gravel highway where forestry workers picked them up. They were taken to a hospital in Baie-Comeau, the city closest to the crash site.

Sgt. Gregory Gomez del Prado, spokesman for the Quebec provincial police, said Thursday evening that the latest information he had on the crash was from Wednesday.

“They had serious injuries, but there was no fear for their life,” Gomez del Prado said.

A woman at Centre Hospitalier Regional in Baie-Comeau would not release information about the Turners.

“Usually the hospitals don’t give information over the phone,” Gomez del Prado said.


The cause of the accident is still unknown, according to safety board spokesman John Cottreau, and it will be several days before the safety board decides whether to conduct an in-depth investigation. He said board officials already have gone out to collect information that will be examined at a central office in Gatineau, Quebec.

“We’ll look at the data with the regional manager and the director of investigations, and only after that will we know if we’ll have a full investigation,” Cottreau said.

That process typically takes three to four days, according to Cottreau, but because of the remoteness of the wreckage, it may require more time to get important evidence from the crash back to Gatineau, which is roughly 580 miles from Lake St. Pierre.

“If they’ve identified any piece of the aircraft they want to investigate further, it will take time for them to get it out of the remote location and back to the office,” Cottreau said.

Neighbors, friends and former business partners of the McKay family took time Wednesday to recall the “wonderful family man” who was also a man who “was there to help you.”

“He was a good man. Everybody loved him,” Shirley Chaffee, his longtime neighbor, said Wednesday. “I can’t say one bad word about him.”


Cottreau said it should take about four days for all the information to be gathered and examined, but so far no cause of the crash has been determined.

“We don’t have any theories yet,” he said.

Staff Writer Amy Calder contributed to this story

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

Twitter: @jessescardina

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