Two small planes collided in mid-air over Cherry Creek State Park on Wednesday morning — and no one was hurt.
One single-engine plane landed safely at the park after deploying a parachute that slowed the falling plane. The pilot and one passenger walked away uninjured.
Eric Hurst, a public information officer with South Metro Fire Rescue, said that’s remarkable.
“The two people in that plane were able to safely step out of the aircraft. Neither one of them was injured or wanted to go to the hospital,” he said. “That’s a good day for us.”
The other plane, with just the pilot onboard the twin-engine craft, landed at Centennial Airport with significant damage.
“It's incredible that no one got hurt given the circumstances. A mid-air collision and an aircraft crash is obviously a very scary and high-risk kind of incident,” Hurst said.
Witnesses on the ground at the Family Shooting Center, an outdoor shooting range in the Cherry Creek State Park, first heard the crash.
“Sounded like metal, kind of like a car, a fender bender,” Matt Sebesta, who works at the range, said. “But it echoed like across the air, it was the weirdest thing ever. So it was like this scrunchie crunch kind of sound.”
When he and the other employees ran outside, they missed the crash, but saw the debris falling.
“We all looked at each other and said, ‘what the heck was that?’” Sebesta said. “And we looked outside and there was just pieces of the plane just fallin down.”
For the on-call public information officer at South Metro, she said she’s thankful that this story had a happy ending.
“I think it's one of those things that we should look at each other and just be like, Hey, let's celebrate that. All these humans walked away,” Kim Spuhler said. “And I think, you know, we just take it as a celebration today.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is on-site investigating the crash.