A pilot was killed this morning when his plane crashed near South Lake Tahoe Airport.
According to CBS, the single-engine Mooney M20C crashed just east of South Lake Tahoe Airport at around 11:00 am this morning.
Lt. Pete Van Arnum of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said that the plane crashed shortly after takeoff. Witnesses said that the plane lost altitude shortly after leaving the airport, banked to the left, then crashed into a large group of pine trees.
Van Arunum said: “Several witnesses said that the aircraft was having difficulty getting lift as it was taking off from the airport and then it veered to the east and started loosing altitude and went down in forested area near a meadow area, crashed and flipped over.”
The pilot was identified as Steven A. Lefton, 67, of Palo Alto. Lefton’s wife, Karen, was also onboard the plane at the time of the crash. Karen was able to escape the wreck thanks to an off-duty nurse who happened to be walking by the crash area.
Beth Frisby, an off-duty California Shock Trauma Air Rescue flight nurse, saw the crash and rushed to Karen’s aid. She was able to provide medical attention until the Lake Valley Fire Department arrived and was able to remove her from the wreck. She was then airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.
Here’s a video about the Lake Tahoe Plane crash.