A Vancouver doctor who was killed in a float plane crash off the Gulf Islands was a “radiantly happy” woman “of great compassion and empathy,” says a doctor with whom she worked at a hospital in the Peruvian jungle.

The bodies of six people, including Kerry Morrissey and her six-month-old daughter Sarah, were pulled from the wreckage of a float plane that crashed near Saturna Island just after takeoff on Sunday afternoon.

Morrissey, who went by her maiden name, Telford, leaves behind a husband and two-year-old daughter.

“She was a great inspiration in our mission. The people loved her,” priest-physician Maurice Schroeder — who runs Centro de Salud Santa Clotildea where Telford volunteered — told Metro Vancouver from Peru yesterday. “Kerry was very important to us. She uplifted. Kerry was a mirror,” he said.

Telford volunteered in Peru for several months a year over five years.

“(This is) a great loss,” Schroeder added. “When I saw (a picture) of (her surviving daughter), I thought to myself, ‘Kerry will never be dead as long as that girl is alive.’”

Telford worked at the South Community Birth Program in Vancouver and was a clinical instructor at the University of B.C.’s Department of Family Practice.

Sharon Morrissey, Telford’s sister-in-law, said she was a devoted doctor who was committed to women’s health. “She was a real good person,” Morrissey, who lives in Washingston state, told Pacific Northwest Local News.

“(Telford’s daughter) is already asking her dad why mommy’s not coming back,” Morrissey said.

Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash while Richmond-based Seair Seaplanes, which chartered the plane, suspended operations for the day yesterday.

Two survivors, the pilot and a female passenger, were pulled from the water and airlifted to hospital in Victoria, where they are recovering.

It took search and rescue eight hours to locate the wreckage and pull the six victims from the sunken plane.

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