Updated: Two in Critical Condition After Plane Crashes Into Creve Coeur Lake
Police have confirmed that a private plane has crashed into Creve Coeur Lake in Maryland Heights.
Updated at 10 a.m. with new information from Maryland Heights Police
Russell Hazelton, the pilot of the plane that crashed into Creve Coeur Lake Wednesday evening, died overnight in SSM DePaul hospital, police officials said Thursday morning.
Hazelton's wife, Suzanne, remains in critical condition.
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Maryland Heights Police Deputy Chief Major Bill Carson said police responded to a plane crash at about 8:40 p.m. Carson said a witness told police they saw the plane go down and heard what sounded like an engine sputtering.
The witness told police the plane attempted to land on the east bank of the lake but wound up upside down in Creve Coeur Lake, which is less than a mile from Creve Coeur Airport.
The plane is listed as a Piper PA-28 Cherokee, a four-seat single-engine aircraft, and is registered to Russell Hazelton of Factoryville, PA.
Police have not released the name or gender of either of the passengers.
Carson said Maryland Heights police officers were waist-deep in water while holding the wing of the aircraft afloat so it wouldn't sink into deeper waters while other emergency crews arrived. He said the cockpit was underwater when police first arrived.
Lake Saint Louis diving teams searched the lake for remaining survivors, but Carson said the aircraft's flight plan indicated the two taken to the hospital were the only people onboard.
Pattonville Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Dolph Jeck said The St. Louis County HAZMAT unit responded to set up booms on the lake to contain a fuel spill following the crash. The amount of fuel was unclear late Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected in town at some point Thursday to assist in the investigation.
Patch will have more details as they develop.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article said the plane that crashed was a commuter plane. The story has been corrected to say that the plane that crashed is a private plane.