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Pilot identified in deadly plane crash near Melba

Owhyee County Dispatch says the single-engine plane crashed at about 3 p.m.

MELBA, Idaho — The Owhyee County Sheriff's Office says a small plane crashed on Sunday at about 3 p.m., near Givens Hot Springs in Owyhee County.

Dispatch says the pilot was the only occupant of the plane. 

The pilot is believed to be 71-year-old Craig Wolter of Skypark, according to the sheriff's office, although the final identification will come from the Canyon County Coroner's Office. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident. The cause of the crash is unknown.

Jeff, who requested for his last name to be withheld, and his son were at Givens Hot Springs near Sunrise Skypark Airport. Jeff says he saw an airplane take off but lost sight of it in the trees.

"We got in the car and start going on the little highway there and we see a real dark cloud of smoke coming up and the first thing I thought was it didn't get enough elevation," he said. "I kinda thought that maybe it could have crashed."

"So I went to try and see if there was anything I could do to help and the plane was pretty engulfed in flames and the pilot was still in his seat," he said.

Jeff says he feels horrible that he couldn't do more to help.

The crash is still under investigation.