On February 10, 2021, the husband of Alaska state representative Mary Peltola, 61-year-old Karl Freeberg, died in a plane crash near the Anchorage airport. Freeberg was piloting the single-engine Piper PA-14 when it crashed shortly after takeoff, killing both Freeberg and the sole passenger, 61-year-old William “Bill” McGrath.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. In a statement released shortly after the accident, Rep. Peltola said, “Words cannot express how much my husband and Bill meant to myself and my family.”
McGrath had worked for the Peltola family for many years, and a public memorial service was held for him in Anchorage. Rep. Peltola and Freeberg had been married for 38 years.