ELLIS COUNTY -- The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the two men killed in a plane crash in North Texas over the weekend.
The plane was flown by Kurt J Russman, 38, from Austin. The passenger in the plane was Michael J. Ruggiero, 49, also from Austin.
DPS says the men were traveling in Russman's 1975 Beechcraft Bonanza from Greenville Majors Airport to Lakeway. The plane crashed around 10:45 a.m. Sunday in rural Ellis County, in the town of Rankin.
Witnesses say they saw the single-engine aircraft leveling off as if to make an emergency landing, but appeared to stall before crashing into a tree. The plane was destroyed in a fire.
The manager of the airport said everyone nearby is in shock at the accident, as the Lakeway Airpark is a small, private airport surrounded by homes.
"It's not a commercial airport," said William Stokes, a retired pilot who lives near the airport. "We don't have facilities to maintain other people's airplanes. Folks that have airplanes here have to take them off to have them worked on or have a mechanic come here."
DPS originally reported that the plane was registered to a man who lives in Lakeway about eight miles from the airport.
Back in in August of 2004, six people were killed when a twin engine plane crashed during take off at Lakeway. The victims included a family of four, a business associate and the pilot. The plane smashed into a luxury home and burst into flames.