Tahoe plane crash: Officials ID pilot killed in crash at Tahoe

Tahoe plane crash: The California man killed when his plane crashed at the South Lake Tahoe airport has now been identified.

Karl Mondon/Contra Costa Times/AP
Tuesday's sunrise reflects on Emerald Bay in Zephyr Cove, Nev., before the annual Tahoe Summit, Aug. 21, 2001. President Bush is as committed as his predecessor to helping protect Lake Tahoe from pollution that is clouding its famed clarity, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman declared Tuesday.

Officials have identified the Palo Alto man who was killed and his wife who was injured in a small plane crash at South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

El Dorado County Sheriff's officials say the pilot, 66-year-old Steven Lefton, died on impact when the Mooney M20 crashed Monday after taking off from the South Lake Tahoe Airport.

His wife, 67-year-old Karen Lefton, is hospitalized with moderate injuries. She was pinned in the wreckage.

Lt. Pete Van Arnum says several witnesses saw the single-engine plane quickly lose altitude and bank sharply after takeoff.

The plane crashed into several large pine trees and flipped over, landing upside down on U.S. forestland.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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