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911 TAPE RELEASED IN PLANE CRASH – SHAKEN CALLERS WATCH AS FIRE ENGULFS CRAFT

911 TAPE RELEASED IN PLANE CRASH – SHAKEN CALLERS WATCH AS FIRE ENGULFS CRAFT

Rocky Mountain News (CO) – Thursday, July 29, 2004
Author/Byline: Clayton Woullard , Rocky Mountain News
Edition: Final
Section: News
Page: 7A
Panicked witnesses called 911 Saturday as they helplessly watched a two-engine plane slam into a street in a southeastern subdivision and explode in front of their eyes.

On the tape of the 911 calls, released Wednesday by Fort Collins police, one female caller watched as the plane burst into flames across the street from her home.

“It just blew up,” she said. “People are standing around it and it just blew up.”

The woman told the dispatcher the fire already had set one car, a minivan, on fire and was coming close to the houses.

“The tanks blew up on the airplane,” she said, “and it’s coming down the street. I’m going to get my husband’s truck out of the way.”

Investigators said the first 911 call came in about 12:08 p.m. Saturday.

Flying the Beech Baron 58-P was Leo J. Schuster, of Loveland, with friends Scott Nelson, 38, and Bill Neal, 58, along as passengers.

All three died on impact, the Larimer County Coroner’s office said Wednesday.

Another distressed female caller saw the plane explode as she stood less than a block away from the scene of the crash.

“There’s people trying to come near it and it just exploded,” she said.

Dispatchers pressed for more information on the crash.

“Yeah, it’s on fire,” said one male caller. “The people in the plane are for sure dead.”

Dispatchers asked one female caller if she had seen the people in the plane and how badly they were hurt.

“I don’t know, but it’s completely messed up,” said the caller, whose voice was shaking.

The dispatcher told her to call back if she received information on the condition of the passengers.

“It looks really, really bad,” the caller said.

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