Husband of Democratic Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola killed in small-plane crash

Euguene Peltola, the husband of Rep. Mary Peltola (C), was killed in a plane crash in Alaska Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Rep. Mary Peltola

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- A plane crash Tuesday killed Eugene Peltola, the regional director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Alaska who also served on the Orutsararmiut Native Council and who was the husband of Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Piper PA 18-150 Super Cub crashed near St. Mary's, Alaska, shortly after takeoff at 8:48 p.m. Tuesday.

Eugene Peltola also was the husband of Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola, who defeated Sarah Palin 55%-45% in November to become the first Native Alaskan to serve in Congress.

Mary Peltola recently played a role in debt ceiling negotiations.

"We are devastated to share that Mary's husband, Eugene Peltola Jr, -- 'Buzzy' to all of us who knew and loved him -- passed away earlier this morning following a plane accident in Alaska," Rep. Peltola's Chief of Staff Anton McParland said in a statement Wednesday.

"He was one of those people that was obnoxiously good at everything. He had a delightful sense of humor that lightened the darkest moments. He was definitely the cook in the family. And family was most important to him. He was completely devoted to his parents, kids, siblings, extended family, and friends -- and simply adored Mary. We are heartbroken for the family's loss," McParland said.

According to McParland, Mary Peltola will travel to Alaska to be with her family after the tragedy.