5 Dead In N.M. Medical Plane Crash

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A medical plane crashed overnight, killing all five people on board, including a woman and her young daughter, authorities said. A search helicopter found the wreckage early Monday.

Tracy Smith and 15-month-old Lilly Smith were among those killed, said Peter Olson, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. Lilly was the patient, but it was not known what her ailment was.

Police have not released the identities of the 56-year-old pilot, a 44-year-old male nurse and a 40-year-old female paramedic, pending notification of next of kin, Olson said.

The King Air plane was owned by Las Cruces-area Southwest Medivac; a phone call to the company early Monday went unanswered.

The twin-engine turbo prop left the Ruidoso Regional Airport about 10:40 p.m. Sunday on a flight to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. It crashed almost immediately in Devil's Canyon in the Lincoln National Forest, Olson said.

The search began early Monday, and the plane was spotted about 5:15 a.m., Olson said,

A New Mexico National Guard helicopter called in to help with the search found the wreckage, said National Guard spokesman Maj. Ken Nava.