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Update: Pilot identified in Lauderdale County plane crash

The victim is a 69-year-old man from Knoxville, Tennessee who was on his way home from Dallas in a 2 seater airplane.

Posted: Oct 7, 2020 9:59 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 1:59 PM

UPDATE: At 9:30 a.m.: Lauderdale County Coroner Butch Tucker identified the pilot as 69-year-old Jerel Zarestky. He said an autopsy will be performed to find out if Zarestky was suffering from any medical issues.

The Lauderdale County chief deputy said the pilot was ejected in the crash.

Right now, the NTSB is on the way to the crash site to recover the plane. According to the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, the NTSB and FAA could be on site investigating for the next two days. 

UPDATE: According to Lauderdale County Coroner Butch Tucker, rescue crews were searching for an airplane in the Waterloo area and found it around 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

According to Tucker, the victim is a 69-year-old man from Knoxville, Tennessee who was on his way home from Dallas in a 2 seater airplane. The plane was located northwest of Waterloo in a secluded area of the wildlife refuge.

Tucker said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating and will arrive sometime on Thursday. The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office secured the scene and the body was removed from the wreckage.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said the Oak Ridge Police Department in Tennessee notified the Lauderdale County 911 Dispatch Center that they had pinged the victim's phone near Waterloo. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency then used a helicopter to find the plane.

FROM EARLIER:

Ted Kavich with Waterloo Fire and Rescue confirms the agency is searching for a possible plane crash site.

Officials are searching a six-mile radius co CR 105 and CR 3.

It is not clear that, if the plane has indeed crashed, what type of plane it might be or how many passengers might be on board.

Stay with WAAY 31 for updates.

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