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911 callers describe fatal plane crash scene

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The single-engine plane crashed near the soccer fields at Munson Park in Monroe.

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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MONROE — Calls made to 911 dispatchers to report last week’s fatal airplane crash in Munson Park described a fiery scene.

“There definitely is no survivors. It’s fully ... it’s gone,” one caller told Monroe County Central Dispatch, which operates the 911 emergency system.

“I think it is beyond hurt,” another caller said when a dispatcher asked about injuries.

The first-person accounts of the March 29 crash were among the 911 calls released Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by The Blade.

The pilot, Rick E. Howell, and his two passengers, Nathan Brahier and Jeremy Tate, were killed when the single-engine, six-passenger Cessna crashed near tennis courts in the city park, narrowly avoiding children who were playing nearby.

The three men were returning to nearby Custer Airport after make a one-day business trip to Pennsylvania for Mr. Howell’s Toledo autos parts company, Conforming Matrix Corp.

While some callers calmly reported the accident, giving details about the plane model and the crash location, others were frantic in giving information to dispatchers.

“It went down. It went down. It’s on fire,” a woman said hysterically in her call to 911.

The accident, which occurred shortly after 4 p.m., is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. NTSB investigations of small, private-plane crashes typically take from 12 to 18 months to complete.

Mr. Howell, 58, of LaSalle, Mich., was president and chief executive officer of Conforming Matrix on Suder Avenue. Mr. Brahier, 30, of Fremont, joined the company in December as a computer-aided-design specialist, Mr. Tate, 40, of Oregon, was a salesman.

 

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