WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A pilot and passenger are hospitalized tonight, after a plane crash near an East Texas airfield.
First responders say the plane went down just before 9 a.m. on FM 2869, between Hawkins and Holly Lake Ranch.
First responders were only a mile away when they got the call that a small aircraft had crashed on an open field.
Nearby neighbor Ray Peterson arrived shortly after the crash.
“I saw somebody in the cockpit; you could see them moving around like they were checking or turning off the electronics,” he says.
The pilot and passenger were still inside the plane, which was tipped up on its nose.
“It was kind of pitched up. Kind of in line with the airport runway here. They hadn’t gone over and tried to extract them yet,” Peterson says.
A perimeter was set up for safety due to a fuel leak.
“We had to ensure there was no fire; in this case fuel was leaking so we had to take care of that. There’s still fuel leaking and that’s why we’re here,” said assistant chief Bill Bollinger of the Holly Lake Volunteer Fire Department.
Investigators say the aircraft was on final approach to the airstrip, less than 200 yards away.
Emergency crews had to cut the pilot and passenger out of the plane.
"We used the jaws of life to extract two people from the plane. Both sent to the hospital," Bollinger says.
It’s not known whether the crash was due to mechanical issues or pilot error.
According to FAA records, the plane is a fixed wing single-engine plane.
The extent of the pilots and passengers injuries were not released.
The FAA reports the plane crashed under unknown circumstances and they, along with NTSB, will be investigating the crash.