WILDWOOD, MO (KTVI )-Two people are dead after a small plane crashed early Saturday morning in the Chesterfield valley. Police identified the victims as Shiv Patel, 41, and his 7 year old daughter Sonia Patel from Chesterfield, MO
St. Louis County police say it was just before 5:00am when the single engine aircraft, a Cirrus SR-22, crashed into the tree line just after takeoff. Police and Monarch Fire officials describe a large "debris field" in the woods on Howell Island, which sits in the Missouri River.
The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation into the crash. It will likely be some time before an official cause is given, however police point out there was some fairly thick fog in the area at the time of the takeoff.
Officers say the flight plan listed the aircraft as bound for Texas, likely for a fuel stop, before continuing on to Arizona.
It lifted off from Spirit of St. Louis airport about 4:50am. The tree line which it hit is roughly half a mile from the end of the runway.
Joe Duever lives in the area along Eatherton Road North. He was doing farm work when he says he heard the loud explosion.
"I went inside and asked my wife, 'Did you hear that?'" He said. "'She said, I sure did. It shook the whole house'"