Survivors of a commuter airplane crash that killed nine people waded through waist-deep snow in darkness to summon help after a Continental Express plane went down Tuesday night in the mountains in southwest Colorado.

The plane, a 19-seat, twin-engine Swearingen Metroliner III, was flying from Denver to Durango when it crashed in a rugged, mountainous area five miles from La Plata County Airport in Durango about 7:25 p.m., officials said.

The captain, Steve Silver, 36, of Denver, and copilot, Ralph Harvey, 42, of Littleton, Colo., were among those killed in the crash. Only one survivor had boots, and he walked more than a mile to a farmhouse to find help.

"I said, 'I'm going to get help,' and I was gone," Peter Schauer said from his hospital room, the Associated Press reported. "Nobody could keep up with me." Schauer, who is listed in good condition, said he climbed to the top of a hill and used lights in the distance to guide him. "I would count 50 steps and then rest," said Schauer, 39, of Booneville, Mo. "I was hurt and it was exhausting. The snow was up to my waist, and I'm over six feet. At times, I hit some gullies and the snow went up to my shoulders."

{Thelma Tate, 79, answered a knock at her door about a half-hour after the plane went down to find Schauer limping and shivering. "I thought maybe he had been in a bad car wreck," Tate said, according to Associated Press.

"He didn't seem to be in shock," Tate said. "He was very cold and limping. He had lost his glasses, so he couldn't see very well."}

Six others, including a 23-month-old baby, worked their way through the snow and rescue workers freed an eighth survivor trapped in the plane. The injured passengers were taken to Mercy Medical Center in Durango, where they were treated for hypothermia, frostbite and injuries sustained in the crash.

Four of the 10 people trapped inside the wreckage were alive when rescuers -- some of them on skies and wearing headlamps -- followed Schauer's footprints to reach the wreckage.

Two died as they were being cut from the plane. The ninth victim died yesterday afternoon at the hospital in Durango.

The plane's nose was crumpled and most of the forward part of the cabin was crushed, investigators said.

{"No one had time to scream," Schauer said of the crash.

"I looked down and could see the lights and thought we were awfully low for being that far out (from the airport). The next thing it was like being at a carnival on a tilting cup," he said.

The plane caught a wing on a hill and did a couple of cartwheels before landing upright in the snow, he told Associated Press.}

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team from Washington, but investigators said they do not expect to find any "black boxes," which contain a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. Planes that carry fewer than 30 passengers are not required to have black boxes.

The plane is owned by Trans Colorado, a Colorado Springs-based company that leased the plane to Rocky Mountain Airways, a subsidiary of Continental Airlines that flies under the name Continental Express.