Two minors and a pilot died in a plane crash Sunday morning during the annual Glenndale Days charity event at Glenndale Airport. One minor survived.
According to a volunteer at the event, a pilot was giving a ride to three boys, who were part of the Flying Squirrels youth organization. As the plane was coming in to land, it struck a pole for unknown reasons and went down.
At 10:59 a.m., Howard County 911 dispatch received phone calls of an airplane down in a cornfield and on fire.
Upon arrival, deputies discovered a male subject being tended to for his injuries by bystanders. The subject identified himself as Cameron Wagler, 17, of Greentown. Wagler was alert and conscious and was able to provide deputies with information regarding the flight to aid first responders in the search for additional passengers. Wagler advised deputies that there was a total of four people on board and that he was seated in the rear of the plane.
First responders were able to account for the additional three occupants of the aircraft in the wreckage. Howard County Coroner Dr. Steve Seele was requested along with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators.
At 11:30 a.m., Seele pronounced the following airplane occupants deceased: Pilot Jerral Long, 63, of Kokomo; Liam Kelly, 17, of Carmel, and Reece Kelly, 15, of Carmel. The Kellys were brothers.
Preliminary investigation in conjunction with eyewitness accounts revealed that prior to crashing, the 1980 Piper PA-32 (N8213X) was being piloted by Long and was approaching the airstrip from the north to perform a routine landing. Upon approach, the aircraft struck a large high-tension wooden power line pole causing the aircraft to nose-dive into the cornfield below where it caught fire.
This investigation is ongoing and is being handled by the FAA, NTSB, Howard County Sheriff’s Office and the Howard County Coroner’s Office. Autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Community Howard Regional Health. At the time of this release, Cameron remains in stable condition.