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Plane crashes in Grand Canyon National Park

The National Park Service said the crash resulted in minor injuries and closed Highway 64 near the park's south entrance.
Credit: Grand Canyon National Park

GRAND CANYON VILLAGE, Ariz. — A small plane crashed at the Grand Canyon National Park Friday morning, causing a closure on State Route 64 near the park's south entrance.

The National Park Service said the plane crashed onto the roadway in Tusayan and resulted in minor injuries. The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the pilot was the only person on board and injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.

The crash scene blocked both north and southbound lanes of State Route 64.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a single-engine Cessna Caravan and it was making an emergency landing on the road north of Grand Canyon Airport around 10:40 a.m.

The FAA says the plane had departed from Grand Canyon Airport and the pilot was planning to return there. The FAA is investigating.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office is also investigating. 

When officers arrived on the scene, they found the plane upside down and located the pilot. Andrew Dutzy, 24, was treated by Tusayan Fire Department and flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for neck and back injuries. 

Dutzy is an employee at the Paragon Skydiving company that operates out of the Grand Canyon Airport. On his way back to the airport, the engine of his aircraft died. He attempted to make an emergency landing but the right wing caught on a light pole causing the crash, officers said. 

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