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Witness Documents Plane Crash with Cell Phone - John Dunn

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BELLEVUE, Tenn. -- Witnesses knew right away there was no hope for the people onboard the twin-engine Gulfstream Commander.  Eritt Darnell lives just yards away from the Bellevue YMCA. "Whenever I looked out the window, I saw it fly over the house," says Eritt Darnell.

Darnell says the plane was coming in low, in a steep dive, and was obviously in trouble. "I knew that there was no hope, you know," says Darnell.

Darnell ran to the crash site. He knew there was nothing he could do and pulled out his cell phone. The video shows the flames after impact, and reveals the YMCA's indoor swimming pool just 20 yards from the wreckage. "The pilot was a hero because if he had put it down pretty much anywhere else he would have hit a house, or anything. He could of hit the Y or the hospice," says Darnell.

WATCH: Eritt Darnell's Cell Phone Video

The Bellevue "Y" is on Highway 100 and is surrounded by homes and busy shopping areas. At 5 p.m. there were cars everywhere and very little open space. The Academy of Harpeth Village preschool is across the street. "It's very close to us, and our kids safety is of the upmost importance, and we're just grateful they are all safe and sound and happy," says Harpeth Village Asst. Director Tori Bachelor.

Eritt Darnell says his thoughts go out to the family on board. His video now serves to document the tragedy. Investigators will eventually learn what caused the crash, but for the people who saw it, it will always be hard to explain. "Him putting it down where he did saved lives I think," says Darnell.

Darnell says the tragedy hit home when he saw the family's luggage near the wreckage. He says he felt hopeless knowing there was nothing he could do.

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