MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo (KMOV.com) – A small private plane crashed into Creve Coeur Lake Wednesday night, killing an elderly man and injuring his wife.
Officials believe the pilot, Russell Hazelton, 78, was attempting to land the plane around 8:40 p.m. when he overshot the runway and lost control and crashed. The wreck happened about a half-mile from Creve Coeur Airport
Witnesses told police that as the plane approached, the engine sounded as though it was sputtering. They said it appeared as though the pilot was trying to land near the lake, but hit the water instead.
Investigators said the Piper Cherokee four-passenger plane was likely upright when it approached the lake, but flipped after entering the water.
Emergency crews responded to the scene shortly after the crash and rescued Hazelton and his wife Suzanne, 69. They were taken to DePaul Hospital, where Russell Hazelton later died.
Suzanne is on life support and has not regained consciousness since the crash.
Authorities said the Hazeltons were under water for at least eight minutes. It is not clear whether Russell died from drowning or injuries sustained in the crash.
According to the tail number, the plane is registered in Pennsylvania.
HazMat crews were also on scene to deal with a fuel spill in the lake.