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Small plane attempts emergency landing on highway, lands in creek bed; 2 injured

By Logan Smith

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    LARKSPUR, Colorado (KCNC) — Two people aboard a small plane were injured Sunday morning when their aircraft made an emergency landing near Interstate 25 and the town of Larkspur.

The pilot apparently attempted to land on the interstate, per preliminary information gathered at the scene. But the plane struck a traffic sign in the center median, “causing the plane to veer off to the east and crash,” the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office explained in a social media post.

Copter4 found the damaged sign and a likely piece of plane debris several hundred yards north of where the plane stopped.

A photo from the scene shows the underside of the plane, indicating it came to rest on its roof. The landing gear are protruding from thick brush.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane is a twin-engine Tecnam P2006T.

A spokesperson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Dep. Cocha Heyden, said the plane came down just east of the highway at mile marker 173. Radio traffic from the scene, plus live images from Colorado Department of Transportation’s highway cameras, suggests the right two lanes of I-25 are closed where Spruce Mountain Road’s on-ramp joins northbound highway traffic. Vehicles are slowly moving past the plane crash scene using only one lane, the express lane. Other cameras to the south of the scene show extensive northbound backup on the highway.

The plane evidently landed in the East Plum Creek drainage immediately east of I-25. It’s not known yet if the plane itself landed in water, but fire department personnel waded through waist-deep water to get to the two injured people.

The crash was reported just before 8 a.m., according to DCSO’s Heyden.

Two patients from the plane were transported by ambulance from the location. There has been no report from the scene about the extent of their injuries.

The Colorado State Patrol’s hazardous materials (HAZMAT) unit is handling cleanup of fuel that has leaked from the plane. Unconfirmed radio traffic from the scene indicates 30-40 gallons of unleaded fuel have leaked from the plane; CSP’s HAZMAT crew is attempting to contain the fuel with booms on the water’s surface.

The Perry Park Airport, a small private landing strip, is located immediately west of I-25 at the crash location. It is not known at this time if the crashed plane departed or was attempting to land there.

Local authorities say federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will later announce their conclusions about the cause of the accident.

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