A Somers man pulled two injured men from burning wreckage when a small passenger plane crashed early Tuesday afternoon just south of the Kalispell City Airport near Ashley Creek.
The plane’s two passengers were transported by ambulance to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for treatment. The victims’ ages, names and conditions were unavailable, according to Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan, though witnesses said the men appeared to be in their 20s and were conscious after the crash.
Jason Prewitt was fishing with his wife and two young children on a relative’s property about a quarter-mile south of the airport at about 2:30 p.m. when the plane crashed into a horse corral less than 30 feet away from where they were sitting. The crash site was almost directly in the middle of about eight different structures – four of them homes.
“I heard a whizzing sound and then a crash,” he said. “I turned around and there was a plane crumpled up in the corral behind us.”
Prewitt’s wife and children ran to a nearby house while Prewitt ran to the plane, which had already started on fire. Both passengers were conscious and calling for help. Prewitt helped the first passenger out of the plane, before pulling the second passenger, who was stuck, from the aircraft.
“I had to jerk him pretty hard to get him out of there,” Prewitt said. “I got them to the fence and kind of had to toss the one guy over to get him out on the road.”
The crash victims, Prewitt said, both complained of back pain and one was bleeding from his mouth and fading in and out of consciousness. Neither of the men was coherent enough to explain to Prewitt what had caused the crash.
“One guy was talking about having clearance and kept saying he couldn’t believe this happened,” Prewitt said. “But, they weren’t making a whole lot of sense.”
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are flying in from Seattle to investigate the crash, Meehan said.
Jason Prewitt’s name was incorrectly spelled in the first edition of this story. The Beacon regrets the error.
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