Family, friends mourn death of 2 brothers killed in plane crash

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SYRACUSE, Utah -- Family members have confirmed two Utah brothers were killed when a plane they were in crashed on the Arizona-Utah border Sunday.

The two brothers, 19-year-old Daulton Whatcott and 16-year-old Jaxon Whatcott, are from Clinton and were on the way to a basketball tournament.

Relatives said Jaxon played for Syracuse High School and was going to be a junior next year. Daulton was a Syracuse High School graduate and would have been a sophomore at Utah State University.

More than 100 friends, family and classmates attended a vigil at the Syracuse assistant basketball coach's house Monday afternoon. Both teens played for the coach.

"I didn't want to believe it, I tried to deny it, I knew it would be the hardest thing I'd ever have to do and not a lot of people who are close to me have died before, let alone my best friend" said friend Nick Olsen.

"They were just the finest people to be around, always happy always enthusiastic, you never went with the Whatcotts and didn't have a good time," said Braxton Kay, another close friend of the brothers.

Daulton was flying his brother from Bountiful to Mesquite, Nev. when the plane went down in Littlefield Ariz. Jaxon was on his way to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration Pacific Division said a single-engine Cessna 172 crashed and burned at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.

Crews are now investigating why the plane went down.

"They did land in Beaver because there was bad weather and I know they were in contact with their parents there because they were going to meet up in Mesquite and when they didn't arrive there, parents started worrying," said family friend Taunie Reynolds.

According to family, Daulton had just received his pilot’s license in May, and had only flown solo a few times before.

"I think they were extending a vote of confidence to him, he had been a star student in all of his flight classes," Reynolds said.

Friends say there was no place Daulton would rather be than up in the air.

"He really wanted to be a commercial pilot -- sometimes he'd tell me how he was going to fly for the NBA, which was really cool," Olsen said.

During Monday's vigil 600 cards were made, each filled with memories of the Whatcott brothers, just one way to help their parents cope with the loss.

"I think they are just trying to get by each minute, and I'm sure they will get to the point where they can get by each hour until they can get to the point where they can just deal with it, they are very devastated," Reynolds said.

A candlelight vigil will be held Tuesday night at 9:30 on the lacrosse field behind Clinton City Hall.