The Mesa County Sheriff's Office said the aircraft reportedly
took off from the Grand Junction Regional Airport before
crashing into Colorado River a few miles away near the town of
Loma at around dusk on Saturday.
Local media said the aircraft was a Xenon gyroplane, which
resembles a lightweight helicopter.
The county coroner's office identified the dead as Rebecca Jane
Molle, 50, from Grand Junction, Colorado, and Mark Shook, 61,
from Peyton, Colorado, according to local station KJCT-TV.
Fisherman Ron Jenkins told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
newspaper he and another man saw sparks fly from the aircraft as
it fishtailed then crashed nose-first into shallow water.
Jenkins said they both rushed to the wreckage and were able to
remove one of the victims by cutting a seatbelt.
The aircraft apparently hit a power transmission line, police
said, leaving several hundred homes without power overnight.
Electricity service was resumed in the area on Sunday morning.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Eric Walsh)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.