Northeast Tarrant

Roanoke couple killed in plane crash near Colorado Springs

A small plane crashed Monday morning as it left the Colorado Springs Airport, killing two people on board, Colorado Springs fire chief Chris Riley said.

On Tuesday, relatives said the plane’s owner, Michael Fritzel, and his wife, Paula Fritzel, both 63, of Roanoke were killed in the crash.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mike and Paula,” their family said in a statement. “We would like to express our gratitude for all of the prayers and support that we have received. Mike and Paula were kind and compassionate people who loved life and loved their family. They will be greatly missed.”

The plane, a single-engine Cirrus SR22, registered to LinkUp Aviation LLC, went down at 10:53 a.m. near Peterson Air Force Base, according to Riley and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Crews arrived to find the plane on fire and a small grass fire at the north end of the runway, according to a Colorado Springs Airport press release. The fire was out at 11:18 a.m.

Riley said he did not know where the plane was heading. About 35 fire personnel responded to the crash as a part of a multi-agency effort, Riley said.

LinkUp International Corp., owned by Michael Fritzel, is based in Roanoke, according to public records.

The company has provided professional sales, marketing and distribution services to the railway industry since 1996, according to their website.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating. — Monica S. Nagy