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Plane found hours after crash

Man, 3-year-old son survive accident with minor injuries

This single-engine, four-passenger plane crashed near Kremmling when its pilot tried to land in the rain. Ritesh Lal, 32, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and his 2-year-old son, Neil, survived the accident and were taken to Kremmling Hospital.
Courtesy Photo

— A plane that crashed near Kremmling was found early Wednesday morning about four miles from Kremmling. The two passengers on the plane survived with moderate to minor injuries, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane’s pilot, 37-year-old Ritesh Lal, and his 3-year-old son, Neil, were taken to a Denver hospital to be treated for their injuries, Grand County Sheriff Rodney Johnson said.

The plane reportedly crashed at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in a semi-rugged area four miles west of Kremmling near City Reser-voir, Johnson said.



Lal and his son reportedly were flying in a white 2003 Cirrus Design from Palo Alto, Calif., to Jefferson County Airport, but decided to land in Kremmling after it began to rain, Johnson said. Lal apparently had missed the approach, and was turning around to try to land when the plane crashed, Johnson said. The plane is a single-engine, four-passenger aircraft.

Lal previously had made a stop in Cedar City, Utah, for fuel and was not scheduled to land in Kremmling, he said.



Denver Flights Center called Grand County Dispatch as soon as radar contact with the small plane was lost and the plane’s Emergency Locater Transmitter, or ETL, was picked up, Johnson said.

Routt County Search and Rescue was called at about midnight Wednesday to assist Grand County in locating the plane.

Search and Rescue public information officer Dawn Alperti said Wednesday morning that crews from Routt, Summit and Grand counties helped in the search for the plane.

Alperti said Routt County Search and Rescue began getting readings from the plane’s ELT and plotted those readings for several hours to help Grand County find the plane.

Johnson said search crews were able to narrow the area where the plane crashed to a 3-by-5-mile area near Kremmling.

Crews in the air and on the ground found the plane “almost simultaneously” just after daybreak Wednesday, Johnson said.

Lal and his son were taken to Kremmling Memorial Hospital and later were flown to a Denver hospital, he said.

Lal was suffering from “various aches and pains” though Lal’s son was relatively unscathed, Johnson said.

Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

– To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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