Two Men Injured in Plane Crash Over Cave Canyon

Two Men Injured in Plane Crash Over Cave Canyon

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(Salt Lake City, KSL News) -- Two men are hospitalized after their small plane crashed in a steep canyon last night.

The victimes are Phillip White, a flight instructor from Salt Lake Community College, and Jay Watkins.

Watkins has been a Highway Patrol Trooper for about four years.

He's also a licensed pilot who was putting in some additional training hours.

The two crashed last night about 10:00 in the Mineral Mountains in western Beaver County about an hour after taking off from Cedar City.

The pair survived the crash and called 9-1-1 on a cell phone.

Beaver County called in the Civil Air Patrol, but finding them was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, one of the downed men was on his cell phone talking to a Civil Air Patrol Pilot when he heard the plane fly over him.

That gave searchers a rough idea of where to look, but they still needed help.

"The sheriff down there had called for the Department of Public Safety helicopter which is equipped with night vision goggles and the forward-looking infrared system that allows them to have night vision, basically. My understanding is within a couple of minutes they were able to locate the crash," says Lt. Doug McCleve with the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Both men suffered serious injuries, including multiple broken bones and lacerations.

They also are being treated for hypothermia and frostbite suffered in the freezing temperatures.

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