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Pilot Killed in Small Plane Crash in Sylmar Area Is Identified by Coroner

The pilot of a small plane who died after the aircraft crashed in the Sylmar area on Sunday afternoon has been identified by the L.A. County coroner as a 55-year-old man.

Scott Watson of Marina Del Rey was the pilot who crashed in a field near the northbound 5 Freeway and Roxford Street, authorities said.

Preliminary information indicates that the single-engine Beechcraft BE33 crashed under unknown circumstances in the field located about 5 miles east of Van Nuys Airport around 1:45 p.m., according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot, only identified as a man, was initially trapped in the wreckage but was later freed and declared dead at the scene, an LAFD alert stated.

Witnesses said it appeared that the pilot was trying to land along a nearby freeway just before crashing into the field.

Will Markgraf, who heard the deadly crash, said it sounded like fireworks going off or gunshots being fired. Once the plane was down, he said, several people ran over to the scene.

"There was a mass of people," he said. "There were about 30, 40 people just surrounding the crash site."

It appears that no one else was on board the plane, and no other injuries were reported, according to the Fire Department.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident, Gregor said.

No other details were immediately available.

KTLA's Steve Granado and Judy Oehling contributed to this story.