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Mesa man dies after small plane crashes near Payson

A Piper P28A (Wikipedia Commons Photo)

PHOENIX — A 59-year-old man from Mesa is dead after a small plane with three people on board went down near Payson on Friday, authorities said.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office said it received a 911 call around 3:15 p.m. from somebody on the plane who reported the crash in the Mazatzal Mountains.

The Piper P28A went down about 8-10 miles southwest of Payson, according the Federal Aviation Administration.

GCSO deputies and the Arizona Department of Public Safety Helicopter Ranger located the three individuals.

Mesa resident Blaine Matthews, 59, was pronounced dead.

Additionally, Mesa residents 21-year-old Colten Egbert and 29-year-old Spencer Berns were airlifted to hospitals in the Valley.

The FAA said the crash occurred under unknown circumstances.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will conduct an investigation.

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