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Names of plane crash victims released

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT
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UPDATE 5/28/21 @ 10 p.m.

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - The names of the two people who lost their lives Friday morning in a plane crash have been released.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, the pilot was David Lewis James, 64. The passenger in that plane was Lori Denise James, 62, and both were from Bellefontaine, Ohio.

Troopers say the plane, a 2015 Lancair Evolution, struck a hillside in a wooded area near Sheep Ranch Hollow Road, off state Route 104. Both victims were killed on impact.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted on scene by the Scioto County Sheriff Dept., Union and Rush VFD and Scioto Squad 2. The FAA and NTSB have been contacted and are conducting their own investigation.

Christina Hall lives at the end of Sheep Ranch Hollow in the home closest to where the plane crashed.

“It’s been a pretty rough day,” she said. “I’ve been a wreck. It was pretty sad.”

Hall was on her couch Friday morning when she heard a loud noise.

“I heard a loud boom,” she said. “It shook the house. It kind of sounded like dynamite to me.”

She went outside but didn’t see anything. Nearly half an hour later, emergency responders started pulling into her driveway.

“They told me there was a plane crash,” Hall said. “I was like, oh wow.”

The crash site was close to a couple hundred yards through the woods on the hill behind her house.

“I showed them the easiest way was to go up behind the house and go back where it was kind of level,” Hall said. “There was no way to drive going that way, but they did get some 4-wheelers and stuff back that way.”

Union Township Fire Department Chief Brian Howell says weather was not bad in the area at the time the plane went down.

“To me visibility was fair,” Chief Howell said. “The rain and clouds didn’t move in until we were already on the scene. State Highway Patrol had their aircraft in the air. He had good ceiling height, good visibility, and was very effective in helping with the location of the scene.”

UPDATE 5/28/21 @ 3:24 p.m.

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - Two people were killed in a plane crash in Scioto County Friday morning, according to the Union Township Fire Department Chief.

Chief Brian Howell says multiple 911 calls were made shortly before 11 a.m.

The chief says the small plane crashed in a wooded area on a hillside about 150 yards from the nearest road, Sheep Ranch Hollow, which is about 10 miles northwest of Portsmouth.

Howell says the plane was fully engulfed in flames when crews reached the scene around 11:25 a.m. Because of the crash occurring in a wooded area, crews were unable to get a fire truck to the scene, and they had to use fire extinguishers to put the fire out.

”Due to the area being rural, it’s mostly forest type land, so we did have to cut trees and remove them to get our UTVs in to get closer access to the scene itself to transport our equipment and supplies needed on the scene,” Howell said.

The victims will be taken to the medical examiner’s office in Montgomery County, per standard protocol.

An accident reconstruction team from Ohio State Highway Patrol is working at the crash site, waiting for crews from the FAA and NTSB to arrive.

Howell says neighbors reported hearing what sounded like a plane in distress, and crews could see smoke coming from the plane while searching for the plane.

The chief says the closest home is about 200 yards from where the plane went down, and a man who lives there hears the crash. That resident was first to find the crash site and relay the location to emergency responders.

Chief Howell did not have any information as to where the plane was headed or coming from.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/28/21 @ 2:30 p.m.

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - Officials with the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency say two people have died following a plane crash Friday morning.

Larry Mullins, the director of Scioto County EMA, says the plane originated from Bellefontaine, Ohio and was headed to Charleston, South Carolina.

Mullins says two adults were on board the aircraft and did not survive their injuries.

A preliminary investigation has found the aircraft was a home built experimental plane with a pressurized cabin flying at altitudes of 25,000 feet, according to Mullins.

Mullins told WSAZ people who witnessed the crash say they saw the plane spiraling out of control, heard explosions and saw smoke once the plane crashed.

The Tri-State Chapter of the American Red Cross is setting up a canteen to make sure people who will be on scene processing the crash will have food and water.

The Scioto County Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is leading the investigation.

This is a developing story. WSAZ has a crew on the scene.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/28/20 @ 11:44 a.m.

SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - Ohio State Highway Patrol is responding to a plane crash.

The call came into the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office around 10:50 Friday morning.

Troopers tell WSAZ it happened near McDermott off of State Route 104 in a wooded area.

WSAZ has a crew headed to the scene.

No other information has been released.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

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