Telluride Plane Crash: Three Arizona Pilots Killed in Colorado

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A plane crash Sunday 16 in Telluride, Colo., killed a flying trio near the town’s Regional Airport.

The identities of the victims were finally released Monday following a series of autopsies done by the local coroner’s office.

Eric Durban, 48, of Mesa, Ariz., died in the crash. Two additional passengers, 64-year-old Sherman Anderson and Sherry Anderson, 57, of Phoenix, Ariz., accompanied Durban on Sunday’s trip. They were also pronounced dead.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said that the Arizona pilots took off on a private Beechcraft Bonanza approximately at 11:20 a.m. en route to the city of Cortez, which is about 75 miles from Telluride.

According to CBS Denver:

The wreckage was found in a cliff band about a mile west of the airport six hours later after an intense search by deputies and the Civil Air Patrol. 

The Civil Air Patrol for both Denver and Telluride became concerned when they lost contact with the airplane. That’s when Masters immediately prompted a search team around 12:40 p.m. Authorities found the wreckage a little after 5 p.m., only a mile away from the airport's runway.

By Monday, the sheriff department was cleaning up debris left behind by the small plane crash. Masters posted this picture on Twitter Monday showing how damaging the site was:

“This is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for. It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Masters told CBS Denver.

What led up to the crash is still under thorough investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. However, Masters believes that a mixture of light snowfall and hostile wind conditions may have inhibited visibility.

Durban was a former military pilot. He leaves behind his wife and two children. The Andersons were reportedly commercial pilots. They are survived by their daughter.

Image via YouTube

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