Aspen plane crash leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

The crash of a private jet closed down Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Sunday.
Posted By Kate Stanton  |  Jan. 5, 2014 at 6:05 PM
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Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Aspen-Pitkin County Airport shut down Sunday after a private plane crashed onto the runway in an attempt to land, killing one of the plane's three passengers.

The Pitkin County Colorado Sheriff's Office told ABC News that a second passenger sustained major injuries, while a third suffered moderate injuries.

After departing from Tucson, Ariz., at around 10:04 a.m. local time, he plane's pilot reported high winds to air traffic control before the unsuccessful landing.

"Missed approach, N115WF. 33 knots of tail wind," he said before the crash.

Witnesses documented the scene on social media, including 35-year-old Jay Sills and his friend, Gretchen Hawkesby.

"The bottom of the plane was burning and the fire truck drove up and started spraying it down," he told USA Today.

Aspen is a favored winter destination for wealthy travelers. Actor Kevin Nealon and singer LeAnn Rimes also happened to be at the airport when the plane crashed. [The Denver Channel, The Los Angeles Times, CNN]

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