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Tahoma High grad Rebecca Shaw dies in Continental 3407 crash

A Maple Valley woman, Rebecca Shaw, was the first officer on Continental Connections Flight 3407 that crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., about 10:15 p.m. Thursday. The National Transportation Safety Board reported all passengers and crew members died.

According to information provided by Continental and its carrier partner, Colgan Air, there were 44 passengers and five crew members on the plane including Shaw. One of the crew members on the plane, Capt. Joseph Zuffoletto, was off duty at the time of the crash. The NTSB reported there was one fatality on the ground.

Shaw was a 2002 graduate of Tahoma High School.

According to reports by Buffalo media outlets, Shaw, 24, had joined Colgan Air in January 2008 and had flown 2,244 hours with Colgan. She was also a certified flight instructor.

Shaw was copilot on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, a turboprop airliner, that was flying between Newark N.J. Liberty International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport when it crashed into a home in Clarence Center N.Y., during its approach into Buffalo. Media reports from the area indicates the plane crashed about seven miles from the airport.

Shaw's mother Lyn Morris taught consumer and family sciences at Tahoma Junior High for about seven years before retiring in 2007 according to Tahoma School District officials. She still lives in the area .

Shaw was know as Beki according Dave Peters, Tahoma High School teacher and activities coordinator.

“It was my privilege to be able to be Beki’s teacher for four years," Peters wrote in an e-mail sent to the paper. "She had a passion for service and traveled to Mexico on mission trips as well as being a leader at school with our leadership retreat and other service activities. Like all teenagers, she went through a period of confusion as to where she was headed in life. Then she latched onto the idea of becoming a pilot. From then on she had a purpose and a passion."

Marie Page, also a Tahoma High teacher said, “She was an absolutely wonderful girl. We will miss her greatly.”

The NTSB has reported the airliner crashed during an instrument approach to the airport and the fight recorder has been recovered.

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