Four people die in small plane crash in Linn County


Four people were killed when a single-engine plane that was supposed to land at the Eugene airport crashed in rural Linn County Friday morning.

The plane was registered out of state and went down in a field just off Peoria Road north of Harrisburg, where the wreckage was visible from the road.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office said the person who reported the crash saw the plane flying low just before 11 a.m., then saw it hit the ground.

Deputies with the sheriff’s office and medics from the Harrisburg Fire Department responded to the scene, but there was nothing they could do to save the four people inside the aircraft.

The crash site for the single-engine Piper PA-46 was 10 miles from its intended destination of the Eugene airport. A spokesperson for the airport had no information about the plane’s flight path, whether any distress calls were made, or whether air traffic controllers lost touch with the pilot before this happened.

People who live in the area say it was very stormy Friday morning but were not sure if that could have caused the crash.

“I know this morning was really windy here, it was pretty nasty, so I didn’t know if that had anything to do with it or not,” local resident Ed Glaspey said. “Anytime that kind of stuff happens it’s just hard. Heart goes out to the family, I don’t know who they are or if they’re from around here or not.”

The sheriff’s office secured the area around the crash until the Federal Aviation Administration could get a ground team on scene.

This is the plane crash near #Harrisburg. Local sheriff's protecting scene until FAA can get here. @fox12oregon— Kelsey Watts (@KelseyWattsKPTV) April 7, 2017

That team, along with the National Transportation Safety Bureau, will be investigating what happened and what caused the plane to go down.

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