Update: 3 people found dead after plane crash
Federal authorities are headed to Mesa County to investigate a single-engine airplane crash near Collbran that killed three local residents.
Those killed included the pilot, Dana Brewer, 49, of Clifton, and two passengers, William Kennon, 47, of Collbran, and Richard “Jim” Platz, 47, of Fruita.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the plane, a Piper PA-24, crashed under unknown circumstances around 1 p.m. Thursday.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said a Civil Air Patrol aircraft spotted the crash site at 11:40 p.m. near the Porter Creek area east of Collbran. The Mesa County Search and Rescue Snow Skippers responded to the crash and confirmed that the pilot and two passengers died at the scene.
The plane was reported overdue Thursday night at the Mack Mesa Airport, prompting a search.
The pilot and two passengers had told the airport manager they would be checking livestock on Grand Mesa, but their exact route and destination were unknown.
FAA officials from Salt Lake City are expected to arrive in Mesa County this afternoon as the cause of the crash is under investigation. FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are leading the probe.