Eight feared dead after plane collision over Lake Coeur d’Alene


KOOTENAI CO., Idaho — Two planes collided over Lake Coeur d’Alene and crashed into the water on Sunday.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office says both planes have been located by their Sonar Team, below 127 feet of water. Two victims were pulled from the water, but they did not survive the crash.

Initial reports say that eight people were aboard the two planes, according to the Sheriff’s Office, and they anticipate that no one survived the crash.

Around 2:20 p.m., the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the two planes crashed in between Powderhorn Bay and Black Bay over Lake Coeur d’Alene.

“Two of my friends in the boat, like, screamed bloody murder,” said Carissa Lehmkuhl, who witnessed the crash.

Lehmkuhl and her friends were boating when they heard the crash.

“I saw the rest of the explosion and all the debris falling down,” she explained.

They rushed over to the wreckage and made a gruesome discovery.

“Us and kinda another boat were like the first ones at the wreckage and spotted two bodies pretty fast,” she said, “and two of the guys in our boat jumped out and yeah, held the bodies from floating away.”

According to the sheriff’s office, two people are confirmed dead and have not been identified. Others may still be missing.

“Initial reports are, there were a total of 8 passengers and crew on the two planes, but that is still being verified,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “At this time it is believed there are no survivors.”

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the planes involved are a Cessna TU206G and a de Havilland DHC-2.

“We’re working on sonar and dive operations as we speak, but at this point we’ve gone to a rescue — from a rescue to a recovery mode,” said Lt. Ryan Higgins with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities are at Sunup Bay Boat Launch in Worley, right along the lake. The area is closed and will remain shut down through the night. Higgins said it’s likely that it’ll be closed in the morning, too.