Victims in deadly plane crash near Deer Valley Airport identified

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - FOX 10 has learned that two people are dead after a small airplane crashed on the roadway near the Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix.

In a statement released Monday afternoon by Phoenix Police Sergeant Mercedes Fortune, the plane's pilot was identified as 54-year-old Theodore Rich, and the passenger onboard was identified as Elaine Carpenter, 49.

According to Ian Gregor, a spokesman with the FAA, the aircraft is a single-engine, home-built Acroduster that crashed under unknown circumstances.


Reaction to crash

On Monday afternoon, officials with Cave Creek Equine Surgical and Imaging Center confirmed, via a statement posted on its unverified Facebook page,  that both Carpenter and Rich worked there.

Meanwhile, social media videos from Carpenter and Rich show an adventurous, fun-loving couple. 

Witness Describe Scene

"I saw a blue flash, but it was the plane, and it did a loop and came straight down," said Tony Hernandez, who was on his way to a job site when he witnessed the plane coming down.

"By the time I got out of my vehicle, there were already a ton of people that were at the plane itself," said Hernandez.

Two cars on the ground were either hit by the plane, or were hit by debris from the plane. Hernandez says the car that was hit was five cars behind him.

"It was just a huge plume of dust. Gray dust," said Hernandez. "It scared the heck out of me. It really did."