CENTERVILLE — Two bystanders are being credited with pulling two people out of a burning plane that crashed near Centerville on Thursday.
Authorities confirmed the plane’s owner, 72-year-old Andre Kostrzewa of Salt Lake City, was pronounced dead at the hospital. A 47-year-old male passenger is in critical condition.
Sometime before 1 p.m., the small plane crashed west of the Legacy Parkway in a field near Tippetts Lane, according to Centerville police. Drivers on the parkway saw the craft come down, and two people rushed from their cars to rescue the pilot and passenger trapped inside the burning wreckage, said Centerville Police Chief Paul Childs.
“Time is of the essence to get people out of fire, and those two individuals would have risked their own lives to pull those people out and save them,” Childs said.
The two occupants of the plane were moved from the burning field to a parking lot, where a medical helicopter transported them to the University of Utah Hospital, Centerville police said. The two bystanders who helped pull them to safety were also taken to a hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.
The crash sparked a small brush fire that burned about 10 acres, according to officials. Multiple trucks were called in to quickly douse the flames, Childs said.
“The fire starting was a concern, several fire units responded,” Child said. “You obviously don’t want a fire to spread because there are homes not far from here.”
The cause of the crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the flight tracking application FlightAware, the two-seater plane was last seen in Bountiful at 12:10 p.m. and was supposed to land in Ogden at 12:48 p.m.
“Witnesses described the aircraft as just losing elevation and banking hard,” Childs said. It’s rare for the department to find itself responding to such accidents, he added.