News Plane Crashes — 14 July 2017

Two people are dead after a tragic small plane crash into a mountainside near Butterfield Canyon, Utah.

It was just before 10 a.m. when trooper Jay West happened to be patrolling the canyon when he suddenly saw the plane going down.

“My initial reaction was shock. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” West said. “Then I was able to see some smoke coming from the canyon floor and I knew something bad had happened.”

Turns out he was right. The small Aviat A-1B Husky with two people inside crashed into the mountainside causing a small fire to break out.

Emergency crews raced up the mountain but by the time they arrived it was too late.

“We tried to get up there as quickly as we could but unfortunately there wasn’t anything we could do the for the victims,” said Lt. Brian Lohrke. “Then we had a secondary threat of the fire because the plane had caught on fire and because the shrubbery could have caused a huge danger to citizens of Butterfield Canyon.”

Investigators are not naming victims as they are still notifying family, but say they believe the victims are two men who are 34 and 37 years old.

The plane is believed to have left the South Valley Airport in West Jordan but investigators are not saying where the plane was heading.

“You know there is a pilot community that is suffering a huge loss from this,” Lohrke said.

It just so happens that Watkins is a survivor of a plane crash from January 1, 2003. That’s when he and an Instructor crashed into a mountainside while flying from Salt Lake City to Cedar City.

“When I look at my airplane accident I’m like, wow, how did I even live to come out of that,” said Watkins.

Watkins and the instructor spent the night on the mountainside before a rescue the following morning.

“Lot of pain, broken bones, lacerations you name it,” said Watkins.

Unfortunately in the Butterfield crash no one made it out alive. But at least he was there to alert emergency crews. There is no telling how long the search for the plane could have lasted.

“If nothing else to maybe help the family learn of this a little quicker,” said Watkins.

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