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Grandparents, grandson killed in plane crash just north of LO

by: courtesy of KATU-2, 
Police investigate the scene of a plane crash in Southwest Portland Friday morning. The Lancair PropJet aircraft went down just before 9 a.m., killing three people on board and leaving a 15-foot-wide crater in the ground.

Three people were confirmed dead after the Lancair PropJet airplane they were in went down in Southwest Portland Friday.

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victims as William C. Shepard, 64, and his wife, Jeannine Shepard, 63, of Douglas County, and their grandson, Benjamin Shepard, 12, of Aloha.

Emergency calls started coming in at about 9 a.m. Friday about a small plane that had gone down in a hilly neighborhood east of I-5 and north of Southwest Boones Ferry Road. Part of the debris landed in the front yard of a house on Southwest Lancaster Road.

Employees at Sturdi-Built Greenhouses in Lake Oswego said they heard the plane go down.

According to the FAA, the Lancair experimental plane, a fixed-wing, single-engine, turboprop aircraft, took off from the Hillsboro Airport at 8:54 a.m., headed to Twin Falls, Idaho.

According to online FAA records, the kit plane was registered in Douglas County to William C. Shepard.

The impact of the crash left a crater three feet deep and 15 feet wide, according to Portland Fire and Rescue Lt. Allen Oswalt.

'No houses were involved, other than maybe shrapnel hitting them,' said Oswalt.

The plane crashed in Tom Schwartz' front yard. He was at work when his wife called in a panic.

'She said it sounded like something hit our house. There was a deafening sound,' Schwartz said. 'When she went to the backyard she saw a wing.'

'I heard a terrible engine sound, and I knew something was too low,' said Sue Farris, who lives on a street behind the crash site. Farris said she didn't hear the crash, just 'the end of this horrible engine noise.'

No one on the ground was injured.