Tyler police struggled finding downed plane

TEAM COVERAGE: fatal plane crash in Tyler

TYLER - When a private plane crashed near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport killing two Thursday morning, emergency workers said they had very little information to work with. Seeing no sight of smoke or flames, crews went into the search not knowing where to begin. 

"It took us nearly thirty minutes to find it," Tyler Police spokesperson Don Martin said.

He told CBS19 navigating on private property can be a challenge. 

Martin said those living in the house closest to the crash, weren't home. Behind the home was a gate, leading to a pathway that went to the area of the crash. 

The only instruction given to crews was to head south. 

"When they got three quarters of the way into the pastured, wooded area, they spotted the tail sticking up," Martin said. "We were all frantically looking for the plane. When we heard that, we were thinking, 'at least we can get help there now.'"

Jenny Wells with the City of Tyler confirmed that last fatal plane crash in the city was in 2000, and prior to that, 1989. 

The plane is a twin-engine private aircraft that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.

One of the two people who died in a plane crash near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport early Thursday was an East Texas pastor, according to an official with his church.

Trevor Morris, lead pastor with Union Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, was on board the small twin-engine plane that went down about 8:15 a.m., said Aaron Greenwood, worship pastor for the church.

Morris' best friend heard about the crash, traveled to the site and confirmed Morris was in the plane, Greenwood said.

Morris was lead pastor at Union Hill Baptist Church and was a general manager for an oil services company. He traveled to Midland frequently for his job and it was where he was headed when the plane went down, Greenwood said.

The pilot has not been identified. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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