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2 Dead After Small Plane Crashes Into Reservoir

By Tom Mustin

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A small plane crashed into a reservoir in Larimer County Monday morning and the two people on board did not survive.

"It's a sad day. Very sad day," neighbor Lisa Rhyner told CBS4's Tom Mustin.

(credit: CBS)

Around 7:45 a.m. Monday, the single engine Cessna with two men on board plunged into the icy water of the Culver Reservoir.

Crews with Berthoud Fire and Loveland Fire and Rescue were first on the scene. Less than an hour later, divers pulled the men out.

They were rushed to the hospital but it was too late.


"The total times the men were in the water was 50 minutes. The men, who have not been identified, were pronounced dead at the hospital," said Moore.

"Right now Larimer County Sheriff's Office is taking the lead on removing the aircraft from the water. The NTSB has been notified and they are responding as well. Once they get here it will be a joint effort to investigate to try to determine what happened today," said Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokesman David Moore.

(credit: CBS)

The identities of the deceased have not been released.

Culver Reservoir is located north of Longmont and west of Berthoud.

Rhyner heard the plane go down about a half mile from her home, "It sounded like a big old car, pick up, slam shut- is what it sounded like."

The NTSB and FAA will investigate the incident. The plane was recovered by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Berthoud Fire and Larimer County Dive Rescue.

She raced to the scene and saw the plane, partially submerged in the eight-foot deep water, "Within an hour it was sinking."

The plane was registered to McAir Aviation out of Broomfield. The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

(credit: CBS)

As crews pulled the crumpled remains of the plane out of the frigid reservoir, Lisa Rhyner spoke for her fellow neighbors, "I'm sorry for the family. Life's too short, Enjoy it. Enjoy every day. That's what I tell myself."

McAir Aviation would not confirm the plane's origin, but an emotional employee did tell Mustin," it's been a long day here."

Tom Mustin is CBS4's Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Connect with Tom on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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