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Names of plane crash victims released

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A small plane crashed injuring two people south of Dakota County Technical College Saturday afternoon. Brian West, 35, of Miami FL., and Courtney Leer, 20, of Lakeville were taken to Regions Hospital after their plane crashed in a corn field shortly after the plane took off from Jensen Airfield.

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Police and fire crews responded to the accident shortly before 4 p.m. Both West and Leer were conscious when rescue crews arrived on the scene. Police officer Jewel Ericson said Leer, who was airlifted, is still in serious condition at Regions and West has been released.

Assistant fire chief Jim Voelker, who responded to the accident, said West was up walking and talking when emergency crews arrived. Leer was lying on the ground but alert, he added.

West told authorities after take off the Piper J3 lost power so he tried to turn back toward the airfield to land. When landing the plane hit the ground with its left wing and then its nose before it flipped and landed upright.

The plane was heavily damaged in the accident. The plane did not belong to the pilot.

Ericson said the Federal Aviation Administration will continue to investigate.

Jensen Airfield is located on the University of Minnesota property East of Akron Avenue. This is the fourth accident that has occurred at the small airfield.

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