First responders, witnesses react to fatal plane crash in Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — Four people died in a plane crash in Snohomish off Highway 2 Friday morning, and the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are now leading the investigation.

Moments after the crash, Snohomish fire crews and police rushed to the difficult scene.

“The terrain and the vegetation and where we were at was extremely difficult to access,” Snohomish District 4 Fire Chief Don Waller said.

Witnesses told KIRO 7 it seemed as if the pilot of the plane was doing a training exercise or stunt, but that quickly changed the faster the plane went toward the field.

“I thought he was just doing a really cool maneuver or training exercise, but he was not,” Ashley Haugen, who saw the plane, said.

“It was one of those random things that honestly, I couldn’t believe was happening. And that I was witnessing it in real time,” Haugen said.

Even people who lived right by the scene went to lend a hand. Mike Creasy didn’t see the plane go down like some, but he saw smoke rising and a large fire engulfing the field near his home.

“But I did see quite a bit of the plane. Like I said, quite a bit of it was there. There was landing gear that was upside down, but the front was completely smashed to smithereens. It looked like they went head first, straight in. Super fast,” Creasy said.

Both he and a witness to the crash rushed down to try and help. He says he jumped on his dirt bike and got close to the crash itself.

“Get the pilot and anybody out. If there was anybody was still stuck in there,” Creasy said.

He says while there wasn’t much that could’ve been done to save the people on board, he is still shocked and heartbroken by it all.

“Wishing there was something I could’ve done. You really feel helpless at that point. I mean, what are you going to do?” Creasy said.

As the cause of the crash remains unknown, many in Snohomish County are thinking of the families impacted.

“I guess that was wishful thinking on my part, but when I heard it was two people, I was just really devastated,” Creasy said.

On Saturday, Creasy said that he met with the family of the pilot and showed them the crash site, hoping to bring them some form of closure.

“So, the pilot parents stopped by my house today. Knocked on my door this morning. Asked if I could show them the crash site and maybe talk to me a little bit,” Creasy said. “You know parents love their children no matter what they’re doing. You just never know if something is going to happen. Must have been pretty devastating for them.”

A spokesperson with the NTSB says it could take 12-24 months before the cause is determined. A preliminary crash report is expected within the coming days.

“And of course, we will look at the operating environment and the weather, the flight planning, the communications. All of that takes a good deal of time,” NTSB spokesperson Peter Knudson said.

Pilot and aviation attorney Jimmy Anderson said there will be plenty of other details and factors investigators will look over.

“They will soon be assisted by various manufacturers of the component parts of the aircraft. So that manufacturers will come out and assist in the investigation,” Anderson said.

Creasy hopes the answers to this crash are found soon.

“My heart was breaking for these people … The last 24 hours has been pretty tough on them,” Creasy said.