1 killed after small plane departs MYR, crashes along Socastee Blvd., investigators say
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – One person died in a small plane crash Friday night along Socastee Boulevard in Horry County, the coroner’s office confirmed.
Fire crews were called around 6:15 p.m. Friday to the 3800 block of Socastee Boulevard, near Highway 17, where the small plane went down in a field.
Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler said that they are working to notify next of kin before the name is released. The FAA revealed that the pilot was the only person on board.
Witness Sharon Parker told WMBF News she saw the plane and knew that something wasn’t right.
“It sounded like the motor wasn’t running right and you could hear a dysfunction in it,” Parker said.
She also added that she heard a boom.
Yana Mintz who lives near the crash site said that she always watches the planes come over the house but noticed that this one was at tree-top level and was dropping.
“I yelled, ‘The plane’s going down,’ and I grabbed my cellphone and dialed 911 and started running up the road and it hit right over there in the field as I got to the end of the road,” Mintz said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a twin-engine Pipe PA-31 left from the Myrtle Beach International Airport and was headed for the Grand Strand Airport. FAA investigators stated that the pilot was trying to return to MYR when the accident happened.
Sarah Ortega works near the crash site and ran out to see if she could help out, but knew that it wasn’t safe when she started smelling gas.
“So we start heading backward and it just exploded and the flames went up in the sky and we just started running,” Ortega said. “I just cannot imagine the fear whoever was in there must of felt. My prayers and my heart goes out to their family.”
“I knelt down and said a prayer. It’s horrible to know somebody lost their life that way and we couldn’t help them,” Mintz said.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will continue to investigate the crash. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and provide additional updates. The agency said investigators will be at the site on Saturday to try and determine what caused the crash.
WMBF News is gathering more information and will continue to bring you new developments as they come into our newsroom.
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