Smyrna plane crash kills 1, maybe more

Cessna nosedives near church, leaves mangled wreckage

BY MARK BELL • MBELL@DNJ.COM • March 12, 2011
Crumpled wreckage and plowed up earth showed the intensity of Friday afternoon’s crash of a small Cessna airplane off Almaville Road near LifePoint Church, killing at least one person, according to police.


Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to descend upon the crash scene this morning after officials ended their initial investigation at sunset Friday. The Smyrna Police Department remained on scene throughout the night in order to preserve the scene and prevent contamination of evidence, according to Smyrna Police Sgt. Bobby Gibson.

“We do know that at least one person (was) in the crash but we are unable to advise if any passengers were on board the aircraft,” Gibson said in a Friday night prepared statement. “We will not be able to make that determination until the NTSB allows the investigation to resume (today).”
Among the questions to be answered is unconfirmed reports Friday that as many as three people were on board when witnesses say the twin-engine Cessna 310 clipped a tree and nosedived to the ground.

According to Smyrna Police, the plane left the Smyrna Airport around 1:40 p.m., and a short time later — at 1:46 p.m. — police received several 911 calls reporting an airplane crashed in a field beside the Lifepoint Church on Old Almaville Road.
Gibson confirmed there was no possibility that anyone on board the aircraft survived the crash, but added emergency workers at the scene did not have visual confirmation of any deaths as of 5 p.m. Friday. Gibson said investigators are working to unearth the remnants of the plane in hopes to provide some “concerned family members some closure.”

The crashed plane is registered to Hudson Management Corporation of Oxford, Miss., according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, but there is some question about whether the registration of the plane is current.
“We have been unable to reach anyone from the company,” Bergen said, adding the agency’s records show that the most recent documentation sent to it was returned undelivered.

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