1 fatality confirmed following plane crash on prison property in Fremont County
One person was killed after a small plane crashed onto state prison property Sunday afternoon.
Authorities say two others on the plane were injured.
The Piper PA-28 had just taken off when it went down on Colorado Department of Corrections land between Penrose and Canon City around 2 p.m. Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board says it was an instructional flight, and a student pilot, instructor and a passenger were the ones on board.
Officials initially told 11 News all on board were taken to the hospital. NTSB confirmed the fatality Monday.
The deceased has been identified as 39-year-old David Merritt.
Chopper video from sister station KCNC shows the nose of the plane took the brunt of the damage; a wing is also broken off. The aircraft crashed near Highway 50.
Department of Corrections is the lead investigating agency. Department spokesperson Annie Skinner sent us the following statement:
A preliminary report is expected in two weeks. A full investigation could take up to two years.
At this time, it's unknown if the crash was pilot error or plane malfunction.