One confirmed fatality in aircraft crash just north of Oak Creek Canyon
FLAGSTAFF -- At least one fatality has been confirmed in an aircraft crash just south of Forest Highlands, just above Oak Creek Canyon.
Around 9:24 p.m. Tuesday, the Flagstaff- Coconino 911 Center received reports from several citizens in the Forest Highlands and Kachina Village areas of a loud crash, possibly a downed aircraft.
Coconino County Sheriff's Office deputies and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers responded to an area on SR89A and noticed the odor of fuel. They located the crash site near the highway. Highlands Fire Department and DPS Air Rescue also assisted in this response.
Erika Wiltenmuth, Senior Public Information Officer of the Coconino Sheriff's Office said the victim has been identified as 76-year-old Homer "Mac" McClure from Mesa.
Around 9 p.m. Aug. 2, McClure picked up donated blood from the United Blood Services in Flagstaff. He left Pulliam Airport around 9:14 p.m. Shortly afterward, residents in Kachina Village and Forest Highlands reported hearing erratic airplane engine sounds followed by a large crash.
The Twin Engine Piper Seneca crashed about 5 miles southwest of the airport and about 50 yards east of State Route 89A.
There were no reports or indications of a fire.
The debris field of the crash is more than 200 yards long; tops of trees broken off show the impact path.
Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Medical Examiner's Office, the FAA, NTSB will investigate.
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