Update: Pilot identified in fatal East Texas ultralight plane crash

WOOD COUNTY (KYTX) - One person is dead after their ultralight plane crashed Thursday morning around 8:30 near the airport runway in Mineola.

49-year-old Dwayne "Dee" Hawkins was the pilot and only occupant of the ultralight aircraft. According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office,  Mr. Hawkins died at the scene apparently as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. 

The Department of Public Safety reports the  crash occurred about 200 yards west of the runway. Clayton Neville from KMOO radio reports witnesses say the plane struck a tree and caught fire. 

CBS 19 News has learned Hawkins was experienced in flying ultralights, and owned a similar plane before.

A witness who pulled the pilot from the wreckage, says the aircraft took off and then began descending, went back up then banked to one side before striking a tree and catching fire.

The assistant manger of the airport says this is the first fatality he can recall that occurred on property immediately adjacent to the airport.



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