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SALT LAKE CITY — A horrific crash at an air show in Reno, Nev., Friday killed least two spectators have died and the pilot. Twelve others are in critical condition.
Everything appeared normal: planes zooming by during the first lap of an air race — then disaster.
Video shot by a spectator shows one plane heading straight down to the ground, crashing, and sending dust, smoke and debris everywhere. Hundreds of spectators saw it all happen.
"(The plane) did kind of a ‘mayday' as he was going up," one woman said. "It finally turned and did a nosedive all the way down, and went straight down."
They had all these ambulances going back and forth for people who got hit, because it was right in front of the spectators.
–David Kracl, witness from Utah
That plane smashed in or near the first few rows of grandstands. Debris was everywhere as the plane shattered apart on impact. Victims were taken off on stretchers to rows of waiting ambulances.
KSL Newsradio's Kenn Johnson was one of the spectators. "It could've been a lot worse," Johnson said. "It looked like he actually tried to miss the main part of the stands."
Johnson's family also knew the pilot of the plane that crashed: Jimmy Leeward, who was flying the P-51 Mustang Galloping Ghost was a World War II fighter.
Another Utahn who was there, David Kracl South Jordan, said he noticed a woman next to him with a bloody nose.
"She got hit by shrapnel," Kracl said. "They had all these ambulances going back and forth for people who got hit, because it was right in front of the spectators."
The FAA is investigating the crash, but officials there have no answers at this time. The rest of the air show has been cancelled.