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Town and Country Pilot Killed, Wife Critically Injured in Creve Coeur Lake Plane Crash

Pilot Russell Hazelton was announced dead Thursday. He and his wife have a home in Town and Country.

UPDATED: 1:30 p.m. Thursday-

Russell Hazelton, the pilot of the plane that crashed into Creve Coeur Lake Wednesday evening, died overnight in SSM DePaul hospital, police officials said Thursday morning. 

Hazelton's wife, Suzanne, remains in critical condition.

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As previously reported by Patch, . A witness told Maryland Heights Police they saw the plane go down and heard what sounded like an engine sputtering. 

The witness told police the plane attempted to land on the east bank of the lake but wound up upside down in Creve Coeur Lake, which is less than a mile from Creve Coeur Airport.

When in St. Louis, the Hazeltons lived in the Fairfield neighborhood in Town and Country. Their neighbors tell Patch, Russell was a retired TWA pilot and the couple split their time between St. Louis, Vermont and Pennsylvania. 

Town and Country police tell Patch, Russell and Suzanne were both graduates of the city's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program through the police department. CERT is a program offered by police and fire departments that offers residents training in order to assist the community in the event of a large-scale disaster.

Captain Gary Hoelzer said the Hazeltons went through the program with about 40 members of their neighborhood.

"They are one of more of our more involved neighborhoods with CERT," Hoelzer said.

Maryland Heights Deputy Chief Bill Carson said rescue crews made valiant attempts to save the couple's life. 

He said Maryland Heights police officers were waist-deep in water while holding the wing of the aircraft afloat so it wouldn't sink into deeper waters while other emergency crews arrived. He said the cockpit was underwater when police first arrived and both passengers had been underwater for several minutes.

Russell Hazelton was not breathing when rescue crews removed him from the cockpit. But initial CPR attempts were successful as Carson said Hazelton was breathing when he got to the  hospital.

The Hazeltons were on their way to Creve Coeur Airport from Pennsylvania. 

Check back to Patch for more information on this developing situation.

Read Previous Stories:

Neighbors Mourn The Loss of Town and Country Pilot Killed in Creve Coeur Lake Plane Crash

Updated: Two in Critical Condition After Plane Crashes Into Creve Coeur Lake

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