The two victims in Monday morning's small plane crash have been identified.
The pilot has been identified as 54-year-old, Theodore Rich and the passenger has been identified as 49-year-old Elaine Carpenter.
Both victims died after a homebuilt small plane went down in the roadway near Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix early Monday morning.
"When I first heard it sputtering, I thought, 'is a plane going to come down on me?' Those were my first thoughts," said witness James Blake.
The small plane went down just before 7 a.m. near Seventh Street and Deer Valley Road.
Aerials over the scene showed multiple medical personnel working on extricating one of the victims.
The FAA says the plane was a single-engine, homebuilt experimental Acroduster.
Officials say the pilot was practicing "touch-and-go" maneuvers when the crash occurred.
"When I looked up it was in the sky, they had just made a turn to come back in on his approach, and he was sputtering. I’ve never heard them sputter before," Blake continued
Carpenter was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rich was rushed to the hospital, but he later died.
No one on the ground was hurt.
Friends and family remember the victims
Family and friends of the victims tell us Rich owned Sportbike Performance Center in north Phoenix and just bought the plane over the weekend in California.
"He was passionate about motorcycles and planes; he just bought this plane Saturday which is, like, really upsetting," said Rich's friend Cordel Shafer. "He loved planes. He loved riding motorcycles; he has like eight of them. It's just, it’s heartbreaking that it happened, but at the same time, it’s the way you’d want it."
“If there’s anybody that I’ve known in my entire life that I can say lived every single day to the fullest, it was Ted,” says Dave Steele, owner of The Helmet Center.
Steele says Rich was a mentor to him, helping him out when he opened his own motorcycle shop. Steele says he was inspired by Rich’s adventurous and fun spirit.
“The guy’s doing the same thing I’m doing in the industry and I’m working and he's out living the dream,” says Steele.
Carpenter was a skilled veterinary surgeon who helped countless animals.
“When you saw Elaine, she was always very positive,” says Soleil Dolce with the Arizona Equine Rescue Organization, which cares for animals seized by law enforcement for abuse and neglect cases.
Dolce says Dr. Carpenter worked on several horses under AERO’s care and was also an educator teaching the next generation of veterinarians.
“She was always very good at explaining what was going on and I think she just really connected with horses and had a passion for helping them,” says Dolce.
"It hasn’t hit me yet, but it’s pretty upsetting," said Shafer of the tragedy.
The crash's impact on the ground
At least two vehicles were struck by the plane while it crashed. Van Hook said no one inside the vehicles reported any injuries.
He said no flames were reported following the crash, however, fuel did spill over the roadway.
"We did have hazmat crews come out and monitor the air," Van Hook said. "We will leave a crew on scene to be a liaison for that hazmat component."
Road closures were reported in the area throughout the morning,
But by 1:45 p.m., Phoenix police reported that the intersection of Seventh Street and Deer Valley had reopened.
Heather Lissner, a spokeswoman for Deer Valley Airport, said there was no impact to flight travels from or to Deer Valley Airport.
A spokesperson from the NTSB tells us they will release a preliminary report in about two weeks.
The full investigation may take about a year.
Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.