A husband and wife are dead after a plane crash in rural Marion County.
Hunter Rice, 18, of Weirsdale, said he heard an explosion very close to his home Wednesday morning.
“I didn’t think it would ever be a plane crash," he explained. "I thought it would be a tractor trailer hitting something.”
He instinctively ran outside to help, thinking, “I hope nobody’s hurt," he recalled. "I better help out as much as I can.”
Mangled plane wreckage is what he saw when he stepped outside.
“I had a fire extinguisher, and I was trying my best to put out the fire, but since it was the gas from the engine fuel and everything, " Rice said. "It was kind of hard to put it out.”
Just after 9:30 a.m. morning, Marion County Fire Rescue spokesman James Lucas said crews found a single-engine aircraft that had crashed in a rural area. The victims have been identified as pilot Rich Womack and passenger Merry K. Womack. The husband and wife were in their late 70s.
“They came to the crash site with fire engines, put the fire out and found two souls on board, or two deceased people in the airplane,” Lucas explained.
It was not immediately known if the plane was landing or taking off from the nearby Love’s Landing airstrip.
Rice said he sees planes flying overhead almost daily and can’t believe this has happened so close to home.
“I just hope that it was quick for them, not burned alive or anything as horrible as that," Rice said. "I guess something bad happened, and they had to go. That’s pretty hard to take in.”
The Federal Aviation Administration, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the National Transportation Safety Board are all investigating the cause of the crash.