A 3-year-old Woods Cross boy cradled in the arms of his mother died Friday when a small plane crashed while taking off from a dirt road in Skull Valley, the Tooele County sheriff said.
Brandon McCulley was pronounced dead after being flown by helicopter to Primary Children's Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.The child was riding in his mother's arms in a two-passenger, single-engine Luscombe and was ejected from the craft when it lost power and "catapulted" into the ground, said Sheriff Don Proctor.
The pilot, James Carruth, Bountiful, and passenger Jill McCulley, the boy's mother, were seat-belted in their seats and were uninjured, he said.
The plane was one of three that landed on a dirt road 1,000 yards south of the Teddy Bears Restaurant just off I-80 and 15 miles northwest of Grantsville, Proctor said.
The fliers were on an outing with friends and family and had landed to have breakfast at the restaurant, planning then to take off from a nearby dirt road, he said.
Two of the planes, flown by Bountiful pilots, took off safely from the road, Proctor said.
The third plane "took off to the north and turned south and lost power and then the pilot saw the power lines," Proctor said.
The pilot made a sharp turn to avoid the lines but a wing hit the ground and catapulted the plane into the side of an asphalt road, he said.
Carruth and Jill McCulley were able to get out of the craft. The other planes landed safely on the dirt road, Proctor said.