W.Va. man dies Monday in plane crash in Georgetown County

troot@thesunnews.com mprabhu@thesunnews.comJuly 29, 2013 

A West Virginia man died in a plane crash Monday afternoon about a half mile south of the Georgetown County Airport on U.S. 17, according to authorities.

Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson identified the man as John Prince Harris, 79, of Charleston, W.Va. Johnson said Harris was the only person in the plane.

“Him and his wife have a home somewhere locally,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Harris was flying from West Virginia to the airport in Georgetown.

“His wife was waiting for him at the airport here,” he said.

The crash involved a decommissioned military plane – identified as a Folland Gnat T.1 by the National Transportation Safety Board – and emergency crews were in the area, said Jackie Broach, county spokeswoman. Johnson said the Gnat was a single-engine, two-seat plane.

Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash off U.S.17 South in Georgetown County at about 1:19 p.m., Johnson said. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the incident.

County workers had to clear the heavily wooded area of U.S. 17 South for rescue crews to get to the wreckage.

“The recovery process has been hampered by lightening and heavy rain,” Johnson said at about 5:30 p.m. Monday. “We plan to keep working through the evening.”

NTSB said through it’s official Twitter account that it was investigating the plane crash.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot; contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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