‘I saw the rest of the explosion and all the debris falling down’: Witness describes deadly Coeur d’Alene plane crash
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A sunny day on Lake Coeur d’Alene turns tragic. At least two people are dead after two planes crashed into each other in mid-air.
Around 2:20 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the two planes crashed in between Powderhorn Bay and Black Bay over Lake Coeur d’Alene.
“Two of my friends in the boat, like, screamed bloody murder,” said Carissa Lehmkuhl, who witnessed the crash.
Lehmkuhl and her friends were boating when they heard the crash.
“I saw the rest of the explosion and all the debris falling down,” she explained.
They rushed over to the wreckage and made a gruesome discovery.
“Us and kinda another boat were like the first ones at the wreckage and spotted two bodies pretty fast,” she said, “and two of the guys in our boat jumped out and yeah, held the bodies from floating away.”
According to the sheriff’s office, two people are confirmed dead and have not been identified. Others may still be missing.
“Initial reports are, there were a total of 8 passengers and crew on the two planes, but that is still being verified,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “At this time it is believed there are no survivors.”
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the planes involved are a Cessna TU206G and a de Havilland DHC-2.
The planes are in 127 feet water.
“And we’re working on sonar and dive operations as we speak, but at this point we’ve gone to a rescue — from a rescue to a recovery mode,” said Lt. Ryan Higgins with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are at Sunup Bay Boat Launch in Worley, right along the lake. The area is closed and will remain shut down through the night. Higgins said it’s likely that it’ll be closed in the morning, too.
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