BELLEVUE, Wash. — One person is dead, and another is critically injured after a float plane crash on Lake Sammamish.
The Bellevue Fire Department reported the crash at 11:11 a.m. on Friday. Several boaters watched the plane struggle to take off before it ultimately crashed.
“The plane was taking off and then it made a sputter, the engine wasn’t getting up to speed and then it kind of hit a nosedive so then it went up, came down, nosedived, and flipped over,” said Janelle Shuey.
Boaters on the lake who watched it happen raced out to the wreckage to help the two men inside. Shuey came home to her neighbors performing CPR on one of the men recovered from the crashed aircraft.
“They started CPR, I think out on the boat in the lake and then continued the CPR as they brought the boat in and got him on the dock, they continued CPR,” said Shuey.
Sadly, that man wouldn’t make it. The survivor was taken to the hospital in critical condition with a severe head injury.
Video taken by helicopter showed the initial response, with boats around the overturned plane and rescue swimmers in the water looking for other possible victims. Bellevue Fire said the plane is a float plane, but it only has one pontoon unlike the traditional float plane.
Bellevue Fire also said the boaters who raced to the wreckage are the reason one of the plane’s passengers survived.
“One of the residents that I spoke to swam out and said he went underneath the plane to try and access somebody and he is one of the true heroes in this incident. Truly heroic. We cannot diminish the level of assistance that was played by the residents here of West Lake Sammamish,” said Bellevue Fire Public Information Officer Heather Wong.
Shortly after 12 p.m., a boat began towing the plane away from the crash site. The FAA will determine the cause of the crash.
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