Two dead after plane crashes near Eatonville Saturday night

A small, two-passenger plane crashed near Eatonville on Saturday night, leaving two dead.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office responded at 9:22 p.m. to multiple reports from Eatonville residents who saw the plane nose-dive into the woods south of the city before hearing a loud crash, deputy Carly Cappetto said Sunday.

With the help of the residents, Washington Explorer Search and Rescue and South Pierce Fire and Rescue, officials found the crash site about half a mile off the Bud Blancher Trailhead, Cappetto said.

The 40-year-old male pilot and 53-year-old male passenger were both found dead inside of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash but could not be reached Sunday morning. It’s unclear what caused the crash or from where the plane originated. The identities of the two people killed had not been released Sunday.