NPS Digest is reporting this morning that a single-engine plane crash in Great Sand Dunes National Park has killed a pilot and one of two passengers. The crash occurred near the junction of the Medano Pass primitive road and the Medano Lake Road on the morning of June 8th. The second passenger survived and was hospitalized.
A visitor was first on scene and called 911; a protection ranger arrived within 45 minutes. Huerfano County deputies and park staff assisted with evacuating the two passengers to regional trauma centers. The pilot’s body was taken into custody by the Saguache County coroner.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration investigated the accident the following day. On Tuesday, June 11th, the single-engine aircraft was removed from the park and the Medano Pass primitive road was reopened. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined by the NTSB and FAA.