Two Small Planes Collide Mid-Air in Colorado, Resulting in Multiple Deaths

by Caitlin Berard

Early today (September 17), Colorado resident Jeff Wolcott was enjoying a quiet Saturday morning at home, sipping his coffee while reading the day’s newspaper. Suddenly, the peaceful scene was interrupted by a loud popping sound outside his window. Before he could react, there was an even louder pop followed by a deafening crash.

Peering out of the window, Wolcott was astonished to see a small plane had crash landed only about 100 yards from his home. And he wasn’t the only one to witness the horrific incident.

Just before 9 a.m., the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department was bombarded with calls, nearby residents reporting that the accident involved not one but two planes that had collided mid-air. Sheriff’s deputies, Colorado State Patrol, Rocky Mountain Fire Rescue, and Boulder Rural Rescue all raced to the scene, where they found two separate crash sites.

The two planes involved in the collision were a Cessna 172 and a Sonex Xenos aircraft, both only capable of carrying a small number of passengers. Emergency crews arrived at the Cessna first, where they discovered two passengers, both of whom were deceased.

At the second crash site, first responders found the Xenos almost hidden among a copse of trees. This plane only had one passenger. Unfortunately, however, they were also pronounced dead at the scene.

The identities of all three passengers remain undisclosed while authorities attempt to notify their respective families.

Colorado Resident Recounts Hearing the Planes Collide

Cary Hayes, another Colorado resident, was at home watching Saturday morning cartoons with his three children when the planes collided. As his home happens to sit almost directly between the two crash sites, he heard both and was able to describe the harrowing event to CBS News.

“We heard a loud ‘pop,'” he recalled. “Then my neighbor texted me… He saw the planes hit mid-air right over our house.”

For Hayes, it was a surreal experience. “It’s surprising it could happen on a beautiful, sunny morning like today,” he said. The Colorado resident then called the incident “super scary,” explaining that it hit “very close to home.”

Roads in the area remain closed as the ongoing investigation continues and residents were asked to avoid the crash sites. “This is still very early in the search and investigation,” the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said.

Details surrounding the collision remain sparse. Investigators are unsure what caused the crash but will continue to update the public as the investigation unfolds. Both the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into the crash.