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Plane crash in northern Douglas County leaves one dead

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One person was killed after a small plane crashed in a residential area of northern Douglas County, east of I-25, the night of May 11.

The Douglas County Coroner's Office identified the pilot of the plane as Robert D. Marquis, 67, of Glade Park, Colorado. He was flying solo.

The plane, a Cirrus SR22, went down near RidgeGate Parkway and Pastel Point, an area between Lone Tree and Parker, just west of the Stepping Stone neighborhood. Debris was spread over more than an acre in the vacant field, only several hundred yards from homes, and two blocks from a community park, swimming pool and popular walking trail that wound around the crash area.

Resident Baylor Bland was home with his famiy, windows open to enjoy the fresh air, when he heard what he thought was the loud whining and shifting of a motorcycle speeding at abut 8:30 p.m.

"It sounded like a (motorcycle) — I thought it was over at Ridge Gate," said Bland. "Then all of a sudden, I heard a loud thump, and it sounded like all the air was being let out of a big vacuum. I didn't really think it could be a plane, because we have so many coming over here that it didn't seem possible."

The crash, which South Metro Fire Rescue described as a "high-speed impact," threw a chunk of the engine, approximately 3 feet long, into the side of a home several hundred yards away, where it was embedded several inches between two windows. None of the neighborhood's residents were injured.

"I don't know if the pilot was trying to miss the houses, but we were so lucky," said Bland. "It's only a couple hundred yards from hitting all of these houses."

The plane had either recently taken off from or was headed to nearby Centennial Airport, according to various media reports. Through Twitter, the airport deferred questions on the crash to South Metro Fire Rescue.

Personnel from South Metro, the Lone Tree Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Parker Police Department, Centennial Airport and the National Transportation Safety Board were on scene after the crash, according to a City of Lone Tree spokeswoman.

The morning after the crash, NTSB personnel and Lone Tree police officers continued to work the scene, according to Lone Tree's Twitter account.

The Cirrus SR22 has a wingspan of about 38 feet and is 26 feet in length, according to cirrusaircraft.com.

 

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