At least 1 dead in small plane crash in south Whatcom County

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- At least one person was killed in a small plane crash Monday night in the Larrabee State Park/Fragrance Lake area of Whatcom County.

The Whatcom County Sheriff says someone from the plane managed to tell air traffic control they were crashing, but lost contact before they could say where.  The Coast Guard joined local first responders searching for the plane, but it was a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew that finally spotted the crash site in the Chuckanut Mountain area.

When sheriff's deputies got to the plane, they found one person dead and no sign of survivors.  The plane's owner told the sheriff's office that the plane was supposed to be on its way from Bellingham to Snohomish County for maintenance, and the pilot should have been the only one on board.  Investigators did search the area to make sure there were no other victims involved.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will determine what caused the crash.