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Pilot dies in private plane crash after takeoff at Lake Tahoe, Calif.

July 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

LAKE TAHOE, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- A man was killed and his wife injured when their private plane crashed near the airport in Lake Tahoe, Calif., a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The pilot, Steven Lefton, 66, of Palo Alto died on impact, and his wife Karen, 67, was hospitalized with moderate injuries, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said.

The plane, a Mooney M20C, crashed in a wooded area shortly after takeoff Monday, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The plane struck several pine trees and flipped over, trapping Karen Lefton under the wreckage, The Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday. It added the pilot was unresponsive when rescuers, including 20 firefighters, law enforcement officers and a helicopter, arrived.

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