MONTROSE, Colo. – A small plane crashed into a tractor-trailer rig parked on a residential street Monday and burst into flames, killing both people aboard, authorities said.
Montrose Fire Protection Battalion Chief Allen Weese said no one else was aboard the plane and no one on the ground was injured.
Levi Hawks, a long-haul trucker who owns the tractor-trailer cab, said he didn't see the crash, just outside his home.
"There was this big bang and my wife yells, 'Oh my God, the truck is on fire,"' he said.
Neighbor Nancy Weese, the fire battalion chief's mother, said the plane would have smashed into her house if Hawks' truck hadn't been there. She said burning fuel spilled onto her lawn and the fire was so intense it wasn't immediately clear that a plane had hit it.
"I just thank the Lord the truck was there," she said.
The neighborhood is below the flight path to Montrose Regional Airport, Montrose County sheriff's spokesman Dick Deines said.
The airport, about 180 miles southwest of Denver, was the scene of a November 2004 crash that killed the son of NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol and two others. The National Transportation Safety Board said ice on the wings was a factor in that crash.