LEICESTER (CBS) – Three people and a dog survived a small plane crash in a remote area of Leicester Tuesday evening. Fire Chief Matt Tebo says the 2014 Piper Cesna went down just before sundown, making rescue efforts difficult.
First, it was pitch black. Second, there was more than a foot of fresh snow on the ground. “By the time (firefighters) got up to the wreckage, they were spent,” Tebo said. “They were walking through snow drifts up to their knees.”
Luckily, there was a group of snowmobilers in the area at the time of the crash.
Bryce Giggey was with his son and his friends when police responded to the area. Giggey said, “we saw the police cruisers going by and I called my son Mitch who said, ‘a plane went down,’ so I said, ‘we better get up there and check it out.’”
The group was able to help firefighters track down the wreckage in the pitch black. They found two passengers suffering from minor injuries, as well as a dog, who did not appear to be hurt.
Giggey said they made several trips up and down the hill with equipment to help get the injured passengers to safety. “We tried to help as much as we could,” Giggey said.
A third person managed to walk away from the wreckage on their own. All three were taken to the hospital, but none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Tebo said if it wasn’t for the snowmobilers being in the right place at the right time, the rescue could have taken much longer, in below freezing temperatures. “Thank God for the snowmobilers that were in the area that helped us out,” Tebo said
The FAA is investigating the cause of the crash.