VSP: Pilot fighting for life after Essex County plane crash

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Courtesy: WRIC

ESSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – A pilot is being treated at VCU Medical Center for life-threatening injuries following an early-morning plane crash in Essex County.

Virginia State Police said it was alerted to a distress call from a pilot Monday at roughly 4:20 a.m. Search efforts began immediately, and the small, private aircraft was found in a swampy area near the Tappahannock-Essex County Airport at 6:13 a.m.

It took hours for crews to extricate the adult male pilot from the wreckage. At approximately 9:30 a.m., he was flown to VCU Medical Center with injuries that VSP described as ‘life-threatening.’

“The small plane crashed, nose-first, into the swamp, which has posed additional challenges to rescue crews trying to safely reach the aircraft,” VSP said in a release. “The pilot did survive the crash and will be transported for treatment as soon as crews can get him out of the wreckage and through the swamp to dry land.”

About the rescue efforts, Rob Rowley with Henrico Fire said “our tech rescue team today helped augment and support the first responders already on scene from (Tappahannock-Essex) fire and rescue and provide them with equipment and techniques to gain access to the patient.​… and then get the patient out of the aircraft and then transport them across some pretty difficult terrain.”​

The Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Essex County Fire & EMS, Henrico County Fire, and King & Queen County Fire all assisted at the scene.  The Fire Service also blazed a trail for easier access to scene. VDOT assisted with providing equipment.

The Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Essex County Fire & EMS, Henrico County Fire, and King & Queen County Fire all assisted at the scene.  The Fire Service also blazed a trail for easier access to scene. VDOT assisted with providing equipment.

The FAA and NTSB have also been notified. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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