Pilot killed in plane crash near Chehalis-Centralia Airport

Pilot killed in plane crash near Chehalis-Centralia Airport »Play Video
Image courtesy of Pete Caster/The Chronicle in Centralia
CHEHALIS, Wash. -- A small plane crashed Tuesday evening near the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, hitting several vehicles in a nearby parking lot and killing the pilot.

The crash happened just before 7 p.m. on the east side of I-5 next to the airport, according to officials from the Chehalis Fire Department.

Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane hit several vehicles parked in a nearby lot, causing them to catch fire. Kenitzer said the pilot was the only person on board.

An airport official confirmed that the pilot died in the crash. Nobody was injured on the ground, but two vehicles were destroyed.

Chehalis Fire Chief Rob Gebhart said when his team arrived at the parking lot they found two trucks on fire, but very little debris from the airplane.

"I kept expecting to come around a corner and find an airplane, and I really didn't," Gebhart said.

Firefighters did find the plane's motor and the body of a male pilot, who has yet to be identified.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.