Planes Collide in Midair Outside of Phoenix, Four People Killed

Two small planes collided in midair this morning near New River in the north Valley.

Four people, two in each plane, were killed in the crash, Phoenix Fire Department Captain Larry Nunez tells New Times.

There were no survivors, and while earlier reports had indicated that three people were killed, Daisy Mountain Fire District Captain Dave Wilson confirms it's four.

Fire departments were called to the crash by someone on the ground -- Nunez says a man was riding his bicycle as he watched the planes going down into a desert area.

One of the planes was still on fire when the fire departments arrived.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor tells New Times another pilot witnessed the midair collision, which occurred around 10 a.m., about 15 miles west-northwest of the Deer Valley Airport.

Names of the people killed in the crash haven't been released at this point.

Gregor adds that the National Transportation Safety Board, which will lead the accident investigation, typically doesn't determine the probable cause of accidents for several months. Even a preliminary report takes a week or two, he says.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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