Plane crash in Guthrie kills one; two survivors

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Updated: 8:30 a.m. Monday, October 17, 2011

A piper plane crashed in a Guthrie residential yard on Sunday afternoon. The crash left one dead and two others injured.

Photo By Chris Evans

Guthrie EMS and Logan County officials were called out to Highway 105 and Bogey Drive shortly after 3:30 p.m. when Lahonda Ball called 911 after stepping outside to see that a plane, a single-engine, four-seat Piper PA28, had crashed on Jerry and Lahonda Ball’s shed.

No one on the ground was injured.

Three people were on board, including an 11-year-old boy. Paramedics were able to get the child out first and at the time believed had only suffered a cut above his right eye. He was later released around mindnight.

The next to be pulled from the plane was a male, Darrell Stewart Smittle, 41, who was said to have suffered broken legs. He was medi-flighted to OU Medical Center where he remains in critical condition. The third member of the plane, Darrell Allen  Smittle, 62, was pronounced dead on the scene. The child told Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers he was with his uncle (passenger) and grandfather (pilot).

The plane was registered to the elder Smittle, an Edmond resident.

The 11-year-old boy, Joshua Smittle, also told troopers they were returning from a fishing trip in Arkansas and before the crash his grandfather said they were needing to get some gas.

Jerry Ball and other witnesses told Guthrie News Page that never did hear an engine sound, but only saw a shadow before hearing what they thought was a (electrical) transformer blowing. The plane appeared to be traveling north to south, but after the crash the plane faced north.

Jerry, along with neighbors and friends, tried to get to the three passengers. Paramedics were forced to cut the plane to get to the three members of the plane.

Power lines and a power pole were hit before the plane came down to the ground. OG&E was quickly called out to the scene for the fallen lines  as several customers went without power. Power was restored early Monday morning.

The National Transportation Safey Board investigators were notified and were en route to the scene to determine what had gone wrong.


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