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More details emerge concerning fatal plane crash in Athens

A Piper PA-24

Joe Johnson

The airplane flight that ended Wednesday night with a crash in Athens that killed the pilot originated in Louisburg NC at 15:30 p.m. that afternoon.

According to Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson, the pilot, who was from Lucas, TX, had recently bought the vintage 1962 Piper PA-24 -250 Comanche single-engine plane from an estate sale in North Carolina and was taking it back to Texas when the aircraft "developed some type of engine issues and was attempting to reach Athens.

The plane crashed about a mile off Buddy Christian way in a heavily wooded area, about a quarter-mile east of Athens-Ben Epps Airport, officials said.

The plane caught fire upon impact, and Wilson said an autopsy of the pilot's body was needed to make a positive identification.

For now, Wilson could only say the crash victim was 55 years old and owned an electrical contracting company.

Police officers and firefighters on Thursday maintained a perimeter around the crash site to preserve it for investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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