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Friends Lend Hand to Arizona Plane Crash Mom

Teams search dangerous mountains for victims' remains
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2011 1:40 PM CST
Friends Lend Hand to Karen Perry After Arizona Plane Crash
A search and rescue team helicopter carries out the body of a victim in the plane crash at the Superstition Mountains east of Apache Junction, Ariz, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Nick Oza)

(Newser) – The mother who lost her three children and their father, her ex-husband, in an Arizona small-plane crash this week is getting support from a grieving community. A single mom, Karen Perry heroically worked to raise three children, none older than 9. The oldest was soon to have brain surgeries for epilepsy; the youngest, 6, had autism; the middle child was 8, the AP reports. "This is their entire family—it's terrible," says a local sheriff.

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“They were just great kids,” says the principal of their school. Officials are recovering the victims’ remains in a highly dangerous mountain expedition that requires special rope techniques. "Regular deputies and even myself would not go into this exact area,” notes the sheriff. The treacherous Superstition Mountains reach 5,000 feet; pilot Shawn Perry’s plane would have cleared the mountainside had it been several hundred feet higher. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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