Authorities say five people were killed when their small plane crashed Sunday, August 31, 2014 near an airport north of Denver.
The Piper PA-46 airplane crashed near the Erie Municipal Airport in Erie, Colo., about 11:50 a.m., said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Erie Police confirm two people were flown to hospitals from the scene. All five passengers were confirmed dead at around 4:30 p.m. MT.
Erie Police Cmdr. Lee Mathis says the six-passenger plane crashed a few hundred yards northwest of the runway, but he did not know whether it was landing or taking off.
The crash was reported by a driver passing by the airport.
Jan Culver was with a friend in a nearby pasture when the plane crashed. She said she didn’t hear anything — all she saw was a plume of dust shoot into the air.
“It was a situation where it was quiet. Very quiet,” she said.
Culver, a member of the Boulder County Reserve Corps, drove across the field to where the plane was.
“It was a scene where you could tell that nobody could do anything right now,” she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB will investigate the crash.
Erie is about 13 miles east of Boulder and 20 miles north of Denver.