Shopping this weekend? Please keep the less fortunate in mind. Join our toy drive

Deputies: Small plane crashes in field in Highlands Ranch, kills 1

A small aircraft crashed in an open field in Highlands Ranch March 29, 2014. (Photo: Larry Steller Highlands Ranch/Twitter)

A small aircraft crashed in an open field in Highlands Ranch March 29, 2014. (Photo: Larry Steller Highlands Ranch/Twitter)

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A small aircraft crashed in an open field in Highlands Ranch Saturday afternoon.

Reports of a plane crash came in shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday.

A spokesperson from Douglas County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 2 News that the accident was south of C-470 and just east of Lucent Boulevard — this is right behind a major shopping center and a Super Target.

Pictures posted on Twitter by Larry Sellers showed emergency crews already on scene.

Sellers also tweeted that the plane flew low over a H2O Carwash before crashing into the field. He said the pilot initially survived the impact, but died when the plane caught on fire.

Car wash employees told Channel 2 News’ Greg Nieto the pilot of the plane was a “hero” for his efforts to avoid local businesses as his plane went down.

A Douglas County Sheriff deputy described the crash as a “fireball when it landed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board was on scene investigating, said the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies confirmed one fatality.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.