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Local man dies in plane crash on Medano Pass

Posted: Friday, Jun 14th, 2013

SAND DUNES—Monte Vista pilot Richard Cutter, 69, died in a plane crash on Medano Pass at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on Saturday morning, June 8.

Two passengers in the small plane were injured and evacuated to medical centers. Their names and conditions have not yet been released.

The airplane, a four-seat Piper PA-28, crashed under unknown circumstances, according to Allen Kenitzer, manager, Communications & Media Relations, FAA Northwest Mountain & Alaska Regions.

The crash investigation is still underway and is being conducted by the National Park Service, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Park Service stated in a news release.

Kenitzer said it typically takes NTSB, the lead investigative agency, months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.

The Medano Pass Primitive Road is closed until the investigation is completed. All other areas of the national park and preserve remain open.

The plane crashed in a remote area, and the Cutter family, which operates a towing business in Monte Vista, plans to recover the plane themselves.

The National Park Service will release additional information as it becomes available.

A celebration of life service is planned for Richard Cutter on Friday.

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