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Pilot Joe Curtis, 67, of Commerce City, reportedly ran from his plane after a crash landing at Boulder Municipal Airport yesterday morning before returning to meet with federal investigators—presumably to explain an almost-tragic series of events.
According to witnesses and investigators speaking with The Daily Camera, Curtis’ single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza 35 slid off a runway at the airport and across Independence Road, hitting a Toyota Prius. Somewhere along the way, a utility pole sawed off the plane’s wing. When the plane came to a stop, Curtis allegedly grabbed a large black bag from the plane and fled the scene.
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The couple in the Prius, Ken and Carol Marcoux, were lucky. After hearing Carol scream his name, Ken was able to hit the gas and prevent the plane from hitting the passenger area. “That was one time a Prius is not the best car to be in,” Ken Marcoux said, wishing he had a sports car with more power yesterday. As for Carol, she’s “very grateful that I wasn’t decapitated.” One thing bothers Ken: The plane came in fast, and the pilot didn’t seem to cut the engine.
Federal aviation officials are investigating, as deputies in Boulder provide some on-the-scene analysis. The aircraft, they tell the Fort Collins Coloradoan, was attempting to land, but one wheel hit the ground hard when it was caught in a gust of wind, turning it around. Back in February, two planes collided over Boulder, and a third–a glider–escaped the tragedy by cutting its tow cable.