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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two die when small plane crashes onto Oregon driveway

An FAA official investigates the scene of a  plane crash in Newberg, Ore., on Wednesday. The small plane crashed into a residential area.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Mary Hudetz Associated Press

NEWBERG, Ore. – A small plane crashed into a driveway in an upscale neighborhood on a foggy northwest Oregon mountain Wednesday, killing the two commuters aboard.

The single-engine plane hit about 50 feet from a house shortly after 7:30 a.m., officials said.

The Yamhill County sheriff’s office said the dead were Steven Robert Fordyce, 49, and Pamela Jean Lusardi, 53.

They lived in the Salem area and flew regularly to their jobs in Hillsboro, the sheriff’s office said. Lusardi worked at Intel and Fordyce was employed at NVidia.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a 1959 Piper PA-22, with Fordyce registered as the owner. Its wreckage was strewn across the lawn and driveway.

The crash site northeast of Newberg was on Chehalem Mountain in Oregon’s prime pinot noir country.

Frank Douglas of the Newberg fire department said a witness walking his dog near the point of impact dodged the plane and debris after it circled, plummeted and crashed.

Neighbors said plane traffic over the mountain is frequent – and low enough that residents wave to pilots.

“That is the first crash we have heard of out here, but we have a lot of aircraft, typically a lot of small aircraft, a lot of helicopters too,” said Steve Everley, who lives about 200 yards from the crash site.

When emergency crews arrived, Douglas said, a small fire was burning, but firefighters put it out quickly.

A door, tires and tail of the plane were among the largest pieces of wreckage.

Douglas said officials of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash.