Plane crash victim critical

by Wes Mayer


An investigator with the FAA checks the scene at the crash of a small plane off Sewell Mill Road in north Coweta Saturday. 

As of Tuesday, Lawrence Kelly, one of the men injured in Saturday’s single-engine small plane crash in northern Coweta County, remained in critical condition at Atlanta Medical Center.

Larry Lee, the other occupant, however, has been discharged, according to Nicole Gustin with the hospital.

Just before 4 p.m. Saturday, units with the Coweta County Fire Department were dispatched to a single-engine plane crash off Sewell Mill Road in northern Coweta, said Assistant Fire Chief Alan Smith. Engine 2 arrived to find the single-winged, World War II-era plane had crashed in the woods about 100 to 200 feet from the road, and crews had to cut through a barbed wire fence to access the crash.

According to Smith, both Lee and Kelly were entrapped and had to be extricated using gas-powered and e-hydraulic tools, and units deployed a one-and-three-quarters-inch safety line during the extrication. One occupant was extricated by county firefighters about 16 minutes after they arrived, and the second patient was extricated after more than 40 minutes. The second patient suffered from multiple fractures and facial trauma, authorities said.

The two men were transported to Atlanta Medical Center in separate helicopters. When they arrived, Kelly was listed in critical condition, and Lee was listed in serious condition. Kelly was still in critical condition around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

According to investigators, the plane Lee and Kelly were flying was a Ryan ST3KR, a sport trainer plane originally built in the early 1940s. The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, said Investigator Allison Diaz.

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