Airplane crash near county airport claims two lives
|Fire rages on and around the wreckage of a downed Mooney M20C aircraft near the Carbon County Airport. Officials reported that the June 22 accident which shook the power in Carbon County took the lives of both occupants of the plane, Richard P. Hall and Theresa Cerrone both of Billings, Montana. |
On June 22 at approximately 11 p.m., a Mooney M20C small passenger aircraft crashed approximately one mile north of the Carbon County Airport, killing pilot Richard P. Hall, 48, and Theresa Cerrone, 50, of Billings Mont..
"The initial call came in around 11 p.m. and, at that time, Price city police officer Dennis Christensen reported seeing a large arch near the airport at the same time as the power bump," explained Carbon County Sheriff's Capt. Guy Adams.
According to Adams, Sgt. Kyle Kulow and Deputy Shane Henrie of Carbon County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate the scene. Upon arrival, the county law enforcement officers located the main blaze, with many small fires burning in close proximity.
"Because of the many fires, the officers initially thought they were dealing with a gas fire," said Adams. "That is until they located the tail section of the small aircraft with binoculars and realized they were dealing with a plane crash."
Upon learning of the crash from public safety dispatch center, Price fire and police responded to the scene along with the sheriff's office.
Emergency services director Jason Llewelyn arrived at the crash site at 11:30 p.m. and established a command post for all responding emergency and law enforcement personnel, indicated the sheriff's captain.
"The fire was very short lived," said Adams. "The plane was on its top with the fuselage fully engulfed in flames."
The emergency team made the decision to allow the flames to burn out, explained Adams. Several small fires had been caused by downed power lines near the wreckage.
"The point of impact was approximately 10 feet east of where the plane lay burning," noted Adams. "The plane's impact caused a power bump that affected the whole Carbon County area."
The aircraft reportedly landed at Carbon's airport three hours prior to the fatal accident.
"Larry Newby of the airport said he had spoken with the adult male and inquired has to whether he needed fuel. The pilot said he did not and that he and his companion planned to fly to Green River that night," explained Adams.
The sheriff's office, United States Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety board plan to conduct a full investigation into the fatal accident.
Final determinations regarding the plane crash will not be available until the investigations into the incident conclude.