Man flies plane into own home after dispute with wife

The scene of a small plane that crashed into a house in Payson, Utah (John Wilson/KSL-TV/Deseret News via AP)
The scene of a small plane that crashed into a house in Payson, Utah (John Wilson/KSL-TV/Deseret News via AP)

A US man has flown a small plane into his own house hours after being arrested for assaulting his wife in a nearby canyon where the couple went to talk over their problems, police said.

The pilot, Duane Youd, died. His wife and a child who were in the home got out and survived despite the front part the two-storey house being engulfed in flames, Sergeant Noemi Sandoval said.

The crash occurred in Payson, a Utah city of about 20,000 residents 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Investigators believe the plane belonged to Youd’s employer and that he intentionally flew into his own house, Sgt Sandoval said. He was an experienced pilot, she added.

It is unknown if the child in the house was related to Youd, Sgt Sandoval said.

Youd was arrested on Sunday after witnesses called police to report that he was assaulting his wife, Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon said.

The couple had been drinking and went to American Fork Canyon to talk about problems they were having.

Youd was booked into jail on suspicion of domestic violence and then bailed, Sgt Cannon said.

Youd requested an officer escort to go to his home so he could get his truck and some belongings. That occurred without incident, Sgt Sandoval said.

Within hours, Youd was taking off in the plane from Spanish Fork-Springville Airport, about 15 miles north of his house. He flew directly to his neighbourhood and smashed into his house, Sgt Sandoval said.

Photos of the wreckage showed the white plane charred and in pieces in the front yard near an overturned and crushed car. Most of the upscale house was still intact, but heavily burned on the front.

Police had responded one previous time to the house on a domestic violence incident, Sgt Sandoval said.

Online court records show that Youd agreed on July 23 to attend marriage and family counselling sessions for six months as part of a plea agreement following an April 8 domestic violence incident in which he was charged with disorderly conduct.

Press Association

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