East Pierce firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene of a World War II era small plane crash near Buckley, in the area of 258th and 96th street east. The call came in at about 3:30 p.m. and crews found the site approximately 200 feet into the woods.
Family members have confirmed one of the deceased is Rod Richardson, who lived with his wife Fran on the airstrip. The name of the second person in the plane has not been released.
The plane — a vintage 1946 Navy training plane known as a Texan — took off from the airport at 112th/Pipeline Road in the Buckley area. Witnesses reported the engine began to sputter immediately upon take off. The pilot appeared to turn the plane around, but lost a wing as it clipped a tree. The aircraft lost its other wing immediately after, as it went down.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner is en route and investigations will be conducted by Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the National Transportation Safety Board.
A chaplain responded to support crews and family members.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.