Durham News

Man killed, another injured in Durham County plane crash

A man was killed and another injured Tuesday afternoon when a small plane crashed in woods in Bahama in northern Durham County, the Durham County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

The Beech D95A fixed-wing plane was owned by a group called Carolina Barnstormers, based in Chapel Hill. According to the group’s website, a man named Mike Ratty teaches those who want to learn how to fly.

The multi-engine plane takes off from Lake Ridge Aero Park Airport in Durham, off of East Greer Street.

Efforts to reach Ratty were unsuccessful.

It is unclear whether he was on the plane.

The plane crashed near the intersection of Archery Range Road and Bahama Woods Lane east of Bahama, an unincorporated rural community on the western side of Lake Michie.

Durham County sheriff’s deputies, Durham Fire Department, Bahama Fire and Rescue and EMS workers all responded to the scene.

Sheriff deputies blocked off Archery Range Road.

It took emergency workers 30 to 40 minutes to find the plane after the call came in, according to police radio communication. Sheriff's deputies found the plane 50 yards into the woods from the nearest street.

Crews rushed the injured man to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Rickey Taylor of Bahama said the plane crashed 300 yards from his property. When he heard that a plane had crashed he said he hopped on his four-wheeler and drove into the woods to find it.

He said the crash had started a small fire in the woods.

“It was a mess,” Taylor said. “The plane and the men alive were in pretty bad shape.”

Staff photojournalist Harry Lynch and news researcher David Raynor contributed to this report.

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