2 dead after plane crashes into Trinity River
LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas – Two lives are lost in a plane crash Saturday night in Liberty County, authorities said.
The crash happened around 7 p.m. about a quarter of a mile south of the Highway 105 bridge and the Trinity River, according to Ken DeFoor with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. Several witnesses said they saw the plane stall, then turn over onto its back in the water.
"He was doing a barrel roll and then I heard the engine stop and the next thing I knew he crashed into the river," witness Joanne Gaines said.
She recorded cell phone video of the plane falling into the river.
The single-engine Cessna had two people on board: the pilot, Patrick Joseph Falterman, 26, of Cleveland, Texas, and his friend, Zach Esters, 25, visiting from Louisiana, according to authorities. Investigators said the plane took off earlier that evening from Cleveland Municipal Airport.
The family of the pilot was among the many witnesses who saw the plane go down Saturday evening, deputies said.
Investigators said they had to use the, Jaws of Life to cut through the plane to remove the two men from the wreckage.
The Federal Aviation Administration will lead the investigation of the accident.