That’s actually 1 pilot and 8 passengers.
The problem with plausible deniability is the plausibility of the explanation, whether the event was a fictional conspiracy or a real conspiracy.
At present it appears most plausible that the Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turboprop engine suffered a catastrophic failure, probably due to the separation of a turbine blade in the engine. Since there have been a number of other such PT-6 engine failures reported in recent months and years, it is certainly plausible there is an as yet undiscovered problem with these engines. If so, it is more plausible the engine failure was due to an accidental mechanical failure rather than a failure due to some form of sabotage.
The death of Loretta Fuddy due to hypothermia and complications of such exposure and/or the trauma suffered in the landing is highly plausible and most likely, with or without the existence of any conspiracies. All of which makes the task of separating the real from the fantastic exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. The public can only keep itself as well informed as the oppotunities present themselves and act responsibly while recognizing the plausibility of an accidental fatality.
Hypothermia, in Hawaiian waters?