Meridian Star

June 13, 2013

Plane crash kills one, injures another

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     One man died and another is in a Meridian hospital receiving treatment for unspecified injuries after the plane they were in crashed Wednesday morning.

    Newton County Coroner Danny Shoemaker said Wednesday afternoon that Rodney Keith Usry, 57, of Hickory was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The passenger, who has not been identified, was airlifted to Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian for treatment of injuries. Officials said Wednesday afternoon the survivor's injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

    Curry said at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday the single engine Cessna 172 was on approach to James H. Easom Field at the Newton Municipal Airport when it crashed into a heavily wooded area about a mile from the airstrip. Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight said the plane, which was piloted by Usry, who was a student pilot, clipped power lines on the approach. He said emergency workers found the plane upside down in a stand of pine trees.

    The plane did not catch fire.

    The crash site is on a wooded hill near the edge of the airport boundary just outside the Newton city limits.

    "Investigators with the FAA are on their way to look into the crash," Knight said.

    Curry said he was unsure of the extent of the survivor's injuries but added he thought the he would recover. Curry said the survivor was able to get out of the cockpit of the plane and begin walking to seek help.

    The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft. The Cessna 172 is considered the most successful mass-produced light aircraft in history.