MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo (KMOV.com) – A small private plane crashed into Creve Coeur Lake Wednesday night, killing an elderly man and injuring his wife.
Authorities said the crash happened around 8:40 p.m. about a half-mile from the Creve Coeur Airport.
An official believe the pilot, Russell Hazelton, 78, was attempting to land the plane, but overshot the runway and lost control.
Witnesses told police that as the plane approached, the engine sounded as though it was sputtering. The witness also 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 the Hazelton and his wife Suzanne, 69. They were taken to DePaul Hospital in serious condition.
Russell Hazelton later died at the hospital. Suzanne is on life support and has not regained consciousness since the crash.
Authorities said the Hazelton’s were under water for at least eight minutes. It is not clear whether Russell died from drowning or injuries sustained in the crash.
They were under water at least 8 minutes. It is not clear whether Russell died from drowning or from injuries in the crash.
According to the tail number on the plane, it is registered in Pennsylvania.
Hazmat crews were also on scene to deal with a fuel spill in the lake.