LABELLE — Crews are working to remove a small plane that crashed in Labelle, piece by piece.
It landed only feet away from the main building of the Church of the Good Shepherd. It landed right in between a memorial garden and the main church building, away from any major structures.
One man inside the plane died, and another is in the hospital, but people in the area tell us they’re glad it didn’t end much worse.
Pastor Elizabeth Nelson watched from afar as investigators surveyed the crash site at the church.
"Sunday morning service may be in my house, because we don’t know when we’re going to be able to get back into the church," said Nelson.
But Nelson said, as crews cleared the wreckage, she was just glad they still have a church to return to at all.
"If it had hit the columbarium, I don't know what would have happened, and of course if it had hit the church it would have been horrendous, but by the grace of God it's right in the middle," said Nelson.
You can follow the Piper Aerostar 600’s path of destruction, from it’s final resting place to the limbs it brought down along the way, and finally across the street, where it passed just feet above Terry Pearce’s house.
"My daughter called me, she lives right around the corner, and she said mom, a plane crashed in your backyard," said Pearce.
Pearce said, after seeing the aftermath, she realized how bad it could have been.
"It’s eerie, it’s right so close to home. I mean I can see it right out my back door," said Pearce.
But although Nelson is glad nothing appears seriously damaged, she said her thoughts and prayers are with the man who died.
"We’ll definitely put a marker over there where it happened for the gentleman that died," said Nelson.
We’re still working to learn that man’s identity, as well as the identity of the man still recovering in the hospital. We’re also still working to learn what caused that plane to crash land.