The trails on the Superstition Mountains near the site of last week's plane crash are now open for business, even as wreckage from the crash -- including human bone fragments, apparently -- remains on the mountain.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says one hiker's already found a bone fragment near the crash site and brought it to the Lost Dutchman ranger station -- which apparently is a no-no.
"[The hiker] brought the [bone] fragment to the Lost Dutchman ranger station and left it with no contact information," PCSO spokesman Elias Johnson says. "PCSO does NOT want anyone taking pieces of wreckage or remains discovered from the site. This is a major pubic safety concern."
Johnson says the PCSO, as well as several other agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, have done their best to recover all the remains, but "given the nature of the crash and extremely difficult environment to work in, there will be items we missed or simply cannot reach."
He advises hikers to not remove anything that might be related to the crash from the crash site, and to treat it like a "living memorial."
Six people were killed in the crash, including three children -- ages 6, 8, and 9. More on the crash here.
The PCSO also today released frantic 9-1-1 calls from people who witnessed the crash.
"We were watching it fly over and it burst into fire. Oh, my God,'' one caller told a dispatcher. "It just kind of flew into the freakin' mountain. It looked like he didn't know that Ship Rock was there.''
Investigators say there's nothing to indicate there was anything wrong with the plane, which they determined "flew straight and level" into the side of the mountain.
A preliminary report about the crash is expected to be released in a few days.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.