PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have released the names of two people killed in the crash of a single-engine plane in southern Ohio last week.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 64-year-old David James and 62-year-old Lori James died when their plane crashed into a wooded area on a Scioto County hillside Friday morning.
The Bellefontaine residents were in a single-engine 2015 LancAir Evolution, which troopers described as an experimental aircraft. The company website said the planes are sold as kits.
The director of the county’s emergency management association, Larry Mullins, told the Portsmouth Daily Times that the plane originated from Bellefontaine and was headed to Charleston, South Carolina at altitudes of 25,000 feet.
Mullins said eyewitnesses told him that they saw the plane lose control before crashing into the ground where explosions were heard and fire and smoke were visible. Mullins said the four-seat plane was destroyed on impact and burned up.
Fire crews had to use all-terrain vehicles to get to the crash site and the highway patrol used its plane to guide them to the wreckage.
Two people told WBNS-TV that they saw the plane go down as they were getting ready to tee off at Elks Country Club.
Dennis Pistole said they “heard the engine quit” and looked up and saw the plane coming down. Tyson Phillips said they saw the aircraft “basically tumbling end over end.” The two said the fire burned for some time, leading them to believe the plane was full of fuel.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Portsmouth is about 95 miles (153 kilometers) south of Columbus.