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Preliminary investigation shows plane hit tree before crash in Colleton County

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 3:44 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 4:17 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The small plane that crashed in Colleton County in October hit a 70-foot-tall pine tree, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The preliminary report into the deadly plane crash on October 22 is complete. The passenger, identified by the Colleton County Coroner as 24-year-old Madaline Thomey, was killed. The Air Force identified the pilot as Col. Deane Thomey. He suffered burns and was taken to MUSC. He was piloting a private aircraft at the time, according to the Air Force.

Col. Deane Thomey was the pilot of the plane, according to the Air Force.
Col. Deane Thomey was the pilot of the plane, according to the Air Force.(Pennsylvania National Guard)

The plane, a six-seater, was traveling from Fredericksburg, Virginia to Miami at the time. The NTSB says the pilot wanted to divert to Lowcountry Regional Airport in Walterboro for fuel. After receiving clearance, the pilot declared an emergency due to a “lagging engine.” There was no further communication with the pilot. The airplane then descended.

Examination of the wreckage determined that the airplane initially hit an approximately 70-foot-tall pine tree.

A final report is expected to be issued by NTSB within 2 years.

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