MONTROSE, Colo. – Moments after surviving a horrific plane crash, Charlie Ebersol (search) frantically begged bystanders for help in rescuing his kid brother from the wreckage: "Can you please help get him out?" the 21-year-old was quoted as saying.
Nearby, his father, NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol (search), sat on the snowy ground amid the billowing smoke and chunks of wreckage, numbly rocking back and forth, according to a witness.
"You could tell he was in shock. Both of them had been ripped out of their shoes," said Doug Percival, a driver at a towing service who was one of the first to arrive.
The account came a day after a jet carrying the Ebersols crashed during a snowstorm while taking off from the airport outside this small town 185 miles southwest of Denver. Authorities said Monday they had removed a body from the wreckage matching that of 14-year-old Edward "Teddy" Ebersol, a freshman at a Connecticut boarding school.
Two crewmen also died and another was injured along with the two Ebersols. NBC said in a statement Monday that Dick and Charlie Ebersol are in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Authorities had no immediate word on the cause of the crash.
With light snow falling, crews began picking through the charred pile of twisted metal and a 6-foot-high shard of the fuselage with three gaping, round windows. The two engines lay on the ground nearby near the tail section where they had been mounted.
A backhoe was brought in to help dig through the wreckage, found near a cattle pen in a snow-covered field dotted with knee-high weeds. A gray tarp was draped across part of the site as crews wrapped up work for the day.
"It's going to be a while because unfortunately a lot of the wreckage is still covered with snow," said Arnold Scott, the lead investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Coroner Mark Young said the body thought to be that of the youngest Ebersol was found underneath the wreckage. Heavy equipment was used to recover the body.
"I'm not going to discuss the condition of the body out of respect for the family," he said during a news conference.
Dick Ebersol has been head of NBC Sports for nearly 15 years, and is perhaps best known for his love of the Olympics (search), which are broadcast on the network.
He and his two sons were flying home from California, where the older son's school, Notre Dame, played a football game Saturday against Southern California. Another Ebersol son, 18-year-old Willie, is a freshman at USC.
The family flew to Colorado, where they have a home, to drop off Ebersol's wife, Susan Saint James, an actress who starred in the 1980s television series "Kate and Allie." Then, Ebersol and the two sons were headed to drop off Charlie at school in South Bend, Ind.
A heavy snowstorm had eased up before the plane prepared to take off, but there was no immediate word if weather was a factor. Steve McLaughlin of MTJ Air Services, which de-ices private planes at the airport, said his company did not de-ice Ebersol's plane before it took off. Airport Manager Scott Brownlee said he did not know whether the plane had been de-iced.
Witnesses said it appeared the plane, a CL-601 Challenger, never got off the ground. It ran off the runway and skidded across a two-lane road, punching through fences on either side before bursting into flames.
Percival said he was going to crawl through a hole in the plane to look for survivors but turned around because of smoke. He said leaking jet fuel soon exploded "like Roman candles."
Gary Ellis was teaching Sunday school at a Baptist Church near the airport when he heard a loud "poof."
"It came to a rest, and a moment or two later it exploded into a huge fireball," said Ellis. "It was burning as it came down the runway."
The FAA said the pilot and a flight attendant were killed. The coroner's office identified the pilot as Luis Alberto Polanco Espaillat, 50, of the Dominican Republic and the flight attendant as Warren T. Richardson III, 36, of Coral Gables, Fla.
The co-pilot was hospitalized in Denver, while Dick and Charlie Ebersol were hospitalized in Grand Junction. Deputy coroner Matt Eilts said the co-pilot was in critical condition.
The plane was registered to Jet Alliance of Millville, N.J. The company offered its condolences but said it had no additional information.