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Investigators are working to determine the cause of a plane crash Monday near Lake Tahoe that killed a Palo Alto man and injured his wife.

Steven Lefton, 67, was killed on impact, law enforcement officials said. His wife, Karen Lefton, sustained moderate injuries and was pinned in the wreckage of the plane. An off duty nurse who was walking her dog in the area provided medical aid for several minutes until emergency crews responded.

Law enforcement officials said fuel leaked from the plane's ruptured wings. Fire department personnel sprayed fire retardant foam on to the plane while medics and firefighters removed Karen Lefton from the wreckage. She was taken by helicopter to a Reno hospital.

The Leftons were flying in a single-engine plane that witnesses said began to lose altitude after take off, law enforcement officials said. It banked sharply into a wooded area east of the airport, then crashed into large pine trees and flipped over.

Investigators from FAA and NTSB are looking into the cause of the crash.