DPS: Pilot dies after single-engine plane crashes at private airstrip near Zavalla

DPS: Pilot dies after single-engine plane crashes at private airstrip near Zavalla
Plane Crash graphic (Source: AP)

ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - A 40-year-old man died after his single-engine airplane crashed near Zavalla Saturday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Captain Alton Lenderman with the Angelin County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday afternoon that a single-engine plane had crashed at a private airstrip off of State Highway 147 north of Zavalla.

According to a press release, DPS troopers responded to a report of a plane crash this afternoon.

Preliminary information shows that a Piper aircraft left from Tomball at about 2 a.m. on Saturday and headed to Zavalla.

“The pilot is believed to have attempted to land at a private runway on the east side of SH 147,” the press release stated. “The pilot reportedly clipped the tops of some trees and crashed just north of the runway.”

Emergency personnel did not find the crash site until 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The pilot has been identified as James Duke VanLue, 40, of Tomball. An Angelina County justice of the peace pronounced VanLue dead at the scene of the crash, the press release stated.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified, and the two federal agencies will be conducting investigations into the crash.

“No additional information is available at this time,” the press release stated.

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