Pilot in fair condition after OHP plane crash

Pilot in fair condition after OHP plane crash

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POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY -

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the pilot who crashed Friday night.  The hospital where he is being treated, lists the trooper in fair condition.

According to the OHP, Trooper Dennis Dickens crashed in Pottawatomie County about 7:00 Friday while helping in the manhunt for a suspected drunk driver.

The plane apparently suffered some kind of mechanical issue and stalled before the plane went down, OHP spokesperson Trooper Betsy Randolph said. The FAA and NTSB is investigating the exact cause of the crash.

The crash happened on Jared Burchette's property.

"We didn't know what was going on, because we never heard a thud or a boom or anything like that," Burchette said.

Slideshow:  Pictures of the crash from the Burchette family

Burchette said he saw the rush of law enforcement and went outside to see what was happening.  He said it couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes after the impact, but the plane was already on fire.

"My personal opinion, I don't think anyone could have ever survived that. It was just too intense," he said. "We were just happy to hear that he was still alive because any kind of plane crash isn't good."

He said, he understands the suspected drunk driver was taken into custody right after the crash. Brent McKenzie was booked into the Pottawatomie County Jail with no bond for DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and unlawful lane change.

Burchette said the FAA arrived on scene overnight and then removed the pieces of the plane.  By the afternoon, it was difficult to tell there had been a plane crash.

OHP should have more information to release on Monday.

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