June 25 (UPI) — A Texas couple died and their teenage son survived when their single-engine plane crashed while flying into Michigan, police said.
Greg Boaz, 54, and Julie Boaz, 48, died in the crash as they approached Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit. Greg Boaz’s 17-year-old son survived the crash and managed to escape the flaming wreckage.
The teen was at a hospital with his biological mother, who flew into Detroit separately on a commercial flight to meet the family.
Police said Cordell Owens was responsible for saving the 17-year-old by using an ax to break a hole in the plane’s wreckage, allowing him to escape.
“The plane crashed and we start running towards it and it was a small plane and the flames were out of control, it started burning and the gentleman in the plane started hollering and screaming, and that was when I went to work,” Owens told Detroit’s WXYZ.
The plane left Texas at about 4 p.m. and was expected to touch down in Detroit just before 8 p.m., but the pilot began circling a runway in a grassy area at the airport and the control tower lost contact with them.
A Federal Aviation Administration representative said that the pilot of the aircraft reported a landing gear problem and low fuel before the crash.
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the cause of the crash.