AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) -- Two people were killed and another person was injured Friday when a single-engine plane crashed just north of the Auburn Municipal Airport.
Federal investigators were on their way to Auburn Friday afternoon after the private plane crashed into the backyard of a home on Dry Creek Road.
An employee of the Rancho Cordova Police Department and his father were killed and a third is being treated at a local hospital.
“Two were taken to the hospital, one was life-flighted, one was pronounced on scene,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Angela Musallam.
The body of the third occupant remained on scene until the coroner could arrive.
Around 10 a.m., someone driving down Dry Creek Road, less than a mile from Auburn Municipal Airport, saw a plane crash just off the road into some trees.
“It is extremely mangled,” Musallam said.
Update [11:38a.m.] two passengers onboard the aircraft are deceased.
— Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) January 24, 2020
A grim description of the wreckage of a Stinson Vultee V-77, a World War II-era, high-wing monoplane that is considered vintage. Airplane parts were lying all over the ground, the wings apparently caught in some branches.
“We did need to cordon off the area wider than usual because there are different plane parts that are all over the area,” Musallam said. “That gives you an idea of how terrifying this crash was.”
The motorist saw the plane crash into the backyard of a home, which was unoccupied at the time.
Emergency crews pulled the occupants from the wreckage right away because they initially smelled fuel but there was no fire.
“Initially, it’s the life threat that is their first concern and then it’s a matter of securing that craft and there was no report of any odor or spill,” said Cal Fire spokeswoman Mary Etheridge.
While the scene was still being secured, several Rancho Cordova police cars pulled up with some urgency, along with a mortuary van. As seen in the past, officers from a police agency often try to escort the body of a fallen colleague to the mortuary or coroner’s office. That was apparently the case here.
Authorities later confirmed the body still at the site was that of 55-year-old Anthony Lawrence Wright Jr., who was a recording clerk at the Rancho Cordova Police Department and an auxiliary officer with the department. He was also a 23-year veteran with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.
His father, 80-year-old Anthony Lawrence Wright Sr., was the other person who died in the crash.
The father and son were both from Meadow Vista.
Jacob Locke was stunned to realize it was his next-door neighbor, Wright Jr., who was killed in the crash.
"Wow, that's shocking to hear. Yeah, I knew he loved flying," Locke told FOX40.
The identity of the surviving occupant of the plane still is not known.
The scene was secured until National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators could arrive from out of state.
Right now, it is not known if the plane was landing or taking off when it crashed.
This story is developing.