A plane crash in rural Morgan County killed two people Sunday, with stunned neighbors watching the carnage unfold in front of them.
Authorities told WHNT News 19 that the small ultralight aircraft went down in a field near Lacey’s Spring just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Investigators said several residents witnessed the plane explode into flames shortly after the crash, leaving a male pilot and his female passenger dead.
The Morgan County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Lawrence Hicks, 62, a resident of Morgan County and Huntsville, and Gayle Owen, 60, of Huntsville. Authorities said Hicks and Owen were not related.
Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said investigators had yet to determine the make and model of the aircraft, but did reveal that the plane was an amphibious type that was likely attempting to land in a nearby pond. Other first responders on scene said the plane’s tail number had been incinerated in the wreckage.
“It was made to take off and land on water, and that’s what it [the plane] was attempting to do today,” said Franklin. “At some point he made a decision not to attempt that landing, and that is when the crash occurred.”
Sheriff Franklin also said Hicks had just acquired the plane a few weeks ago.
Stunned neighbors described the crash site as horrific.
“For this to happen right before my very eyes is very disturbing,” said Lacey’s Spring resident Pat Stevenson. “I saw the black smoke as it hit the ground…The plane was totally engulfed, and the bodies, I saw the bodies.”
An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the crash site Sunday evening, but declined to talk about the case. WHNT News 19 is continuing to track down details on Sunday’s plane crash, and keep you posted on the very latest developments.