Pilot killed when small plane crashes, erupts in flames in California

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A small plane crashed and erupted in flames Saturday morning near the 14 Freeway in Santa Clarita, killing the only person onboard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

The single-engine aircraft went down shortly after 10 a.m. at the Newhall Avenue exit in Newhall. Flames ignited after the plane struck a tree, according to a California Highway Patrol log.

Witnesses' video showed a large plume of black smoke rising above the scene. The mangled wreckage was seen in a grassy area surrounded by the cloverleaf off-ramp, which was closed after the incident.

The cause of the crash and the identity of the pilot, who was pronounced dead at the location, were not immediately known.
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