Payson man flies plane into his home after fight with wife, police say

For illustration purposes only, this photo shows firemen attending the scene of a fatal airplane crash with thick gray acrid smoke. Date and location unspecified. | Photo by andreart/iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

PAYSON, Utah (AP) — A Utah man flew a small plane into his own house early Monday just hours after he had been arrested for assaulting his wife in a nearby canyon where the couple went to talk over their problems, authorities said.

Police said Duane Youd was killed when he flew a small plane into his own house in Payson early Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, just hours after he had been arrested for assaulting his wife in a nearby canyon. Date and location unspecified. | Photo courtesy of Utah County Sheriff’s Office via Fox13 News, St. George News

The pilot, Duane Youd, died. His wife and a child who were in the home survived despite the front part the two-story house being engulfed in flames, Payson police Sgt. Noemi Sandoval said.

The crash occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in Payson.

Investigators believe the twin-engine Cessna 525 belonged to Youd’s employer and that he intentionally flew into his own house; Sandoval said he was an experienced pilot. It wasn’t immediately clear who employed Youd or whether he was authorized to take the plane.

It’s unknown if the child in the house is related to Youd, Sandoval said.

Youd, 47, was arrested about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after witnesses called police to report that he was assaulting his wife, Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. The couple had been drinking and went to American Fork Canyon to talk about problems they were having, authorities said.

Youd was booked on suspicion of domestic violence and posted bail, Cannon said. Youd requested an officer escort him to his home so he could get his truck and some belongings around midnight. That occurred without incident, Sandoval said.

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

Photos of the wreckage showed the white plane charred and in pieces in the front yard nearby an overturned and crushed car. Most of the upscale house was still intact, but heavily burned in the front. Youd and his wife bought the 2,700-square-foot house valued at nearly $400,000, in 2016 in a quiet subdivision of new homes near the foothills, county property records show.

The plane barely missed power lines and other homes, Sandoval said. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Online court records show that Youd agreed last month to attend marriage and family counseling 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.

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6 Comments

  • Carpe Diem August 13, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    That’ll show her, dagnabbit!

  • comments August 13, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    I suspect it was something similar to this that possibly drove the other guy in Cedar City to kill himself as he was burning down his own house. Pure speculation, but it’s what comes to mind.

  • DRT August 13, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Certainly a more permanent solution than a restraining order.

  • Striker4 August 14, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Must of been a pilot for Southwest

  • Kilroywashere August 14, 2018 at 11:13 am

    This world is unfathomable. The movie “It’s a mad mad mad mad world” comes to mind. With all due respect to the victims involved, you have to process with humor, as such incidents are no longer rare. It ceases to amaze me how ridiculous things have become these days. I think somebody should ask Elon Musk if we are in a simulation of grand theft auto version 7.0. On that note geologist Guy Macphearson says we have until 2019-2020 before the planet starts falling apart. SO to put things into perspective, life is uncertain.

    • Mike P August 14, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      Elon Musk ? Seriously, what would he know about this?

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