NEWBERG, Ore. -- A small single-engine plane crashed near Newberg in Yamhill County early Wednesday morning, killing a man and woman in their 50s, federal investigators said. No one on the ground was hurt.
The two people on board were coworkers commuting from Salem to Hillsboro. Sheriff's deputies suspected the two flew to work every day.
The 1959 PA22 Piper plane went down just after 7 a.m. at 16461 NE Mountain Home Road, near the intersection of NE Bell Road and NE Mountain Home Road.
The plane dove nose-first into a front yard and almost hit someone walking his dog, witnesses told KGW. Firefighters called it a "violent, horrendous crash."
Witnesses told KGW they saw the plane overhead, heard a "sputtering noise," and then it seemed to stall. The plane immediately began to nosedive, witnesses said, barely missing a large home but leaving a "gaping hole" in the front yard.
Crews responded quickly to the scene, along with investigators. First responders speculated that the pilot may have tried avoiding the house before crashing.
The Newberg airport is approximately two miles from the crash site.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Yamhill County sheriff's office were handling the investigation on the ground. Two large, red tents had been erected over the crash site and wreckage.
KGW Reporter Teresa Yuan contributed to this report.