Plane crash in Gregg Co. claims a life

Posted by Kelly Hefelfinger - email

1/12/09-Gregg County

Federal investigators are now piecing together a deadly East Texas plane crash.

Monday afternoon, Gregg County authorities confirmed a small experimental airplane went down near Landfill Road in Southern Gregg County.

The experimental "Highwing" plane was found under some high-voltage powerlines; its right wing torn and heavily damaged. The pilot, has been identified as Ronald Vickers of Arlington. He was the only person in the plane and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Employees at Republic Services landfill reported seeing the plane at around 1:30 Monday afternoon. No one saw the crash, but the plane was not discovered for 2 and a half hours.

Authorities checked with East Texas airports, but so far, have not found any record of a flight plan for the pilot or any refueling stops in the area.

The plane was registered to William McDuffie of Louisiana. He was not in the plane when it crashed, and the relationship between McDuffie and the piilot is unclear at this time.