Brothers Jim and Kirk Hansen, founders of health and wellness company Kyäni Inc., their father, Jim Hansen Sr., children of Jim of Kirk, Jake, Stockton and Logan, Jake Hanson’s son, Houston, and Kirk’s sons-in-law, Kyle Naylor and Tyson Dennert, were killed when the single-engine Pilatus PC-12 crashed after takeoff Saturday in South Dakota, Kyäni president Travis Garza said in a statement.
“We are deeply sad to announce that yesterday, we lost our precious founders Jim and Kirk in a tragic plane crash in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We are all mourning and ask your prayers for families of the affected families,” the statement said.
There were only three survivors, which included a son each of Jim and Kirk Hansen, along with one of Jim Hansen Jr.’s sons-in-law. The survivors are believed to be seriously injured and are being treated in a hospital in South Dakota.
“Although these developments are very sad for the Kyäni family, the family was smart enough to build a solid team that can move this company now and in the future,” the statement said.
Kyani Inc., which sells nutritional and skincare products, among others, was founded by Jim and Kirk Hansen along with their wives, the company’s website said.
“Kirk and Jim’s legacy will continue to be protected by everyone who is related to Kyäni, and by making a better life possible through their mission and vision,” Garza said in the statement.
The family was returning from an annual pheasant-hunting trip in South Dakota and the plane was bound for Idaho Falls Regional Airport in the southeast portion of Idaho when the crash happened, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.
According to officials, the ill-fated plane went down before noon during a major winter storm which restricted visibility at times to less than a mile. However, it is not entirely clear if the crash was related to the bad weather.
The crash is being investigated by the FAA and the national Transportation Safety Board.