Plane crashes near Telluride; 3 found dead

A private airplane en route to Cortez on Sunday crashed near Telluride, killing all three people aboard, according to the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane crashed into a cliff band one mile west of Telluride Regional Airport after taking off at 11:20 a.m., according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. Weather conditions at the time of take-off provided one mile of visibility in light snow and calm winds.

The Sheriff’s Office began a search at 12:40 p.m. after air traffic controllers in Telluride and Denver lost contact with the pilot after takeoff.

San Miguel sheriff’s deputies in a contracted helicopter spotted the Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft at 5:17 p.m.

The cause of the crash was not yet known, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Recovery of the victims’ bodies will begin this morning, and the Federal Aviation Administration will send crews to investigate the crash.

Names of the victims will be released by the San Miguel County Coroner’s Office upon notification of family members.

“It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy,” San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said in a press release.


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