November 24, 2014
A New Jersey couple was critically burned after their small plane crashed on takeoff from the Elko airport and came to a rest next to a nearby Cardlock fueling station.
Pilot Lee Morton, 72, and his wife, Mary Morton, 69, Shrewsbury, N.J., were listed in critical condition late Monday at the burn trauma unit at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, hospital spokeswoman said.
They first were flown there after they first were treated at the Northeast Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko following the crash in west Elko.
Lee Morton suffered burns over 60 percent of his body while his wife suffered facial burns.
Police said the four-seat Beechcraft rolled across the Mountain City Highway at the end of the runway and struck some road signs before stopping within 40 feet of the Cardlock station.
The front end of the plane burst into flames, but firefighters quickly responded after the plane stopped across the street from the city's main fire station.
The couple were en route to Salt Lake City, but authorities were unsure why they had stopped in Elko.
The cause of the 8:30 a.m. crash is under investigation by federal authorities.