High Point Plane Crash Kills Doctor Thomas Littlejohn III, Pilot

1:58 PM, Mar 31, 2011   |    comments
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  • Viewer Photo: Across the street from the crash
    

High Point, NC -- Investigators are trying to determine what led to the crash of a small plane crash in western Guilford County.

Denita Lynch with the High Point Fire Department said that a plane crashed into the ground near some homes on Brian Hollars Court. The plane then slid into one of the houses, catching it on fire.  The plane also clipped a second house causing some damage.

The neighborhood is just south of Piedmont Triad International Airport, near Sandy Ridge Road.

SLIDESHOW: Pictures from the scene

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said that two people on the plane were killed.   Winston-Salem physician Dr. Thomas Littlejohn III and his pilot were in the plane.  Nobody on the ground was injured.

"He was flying on company business," said the brother, Roger Littlejohn, of Advance, N.C.. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was married to Margaret Littlejohn and was the father of six children, his brother said.

Littlejohn was the president of PMG Research and co-founder of Maplewood Family Pratice. PMG said they had no comment out of respect for the family. Maplewood issued a statement say they "are very saddened by the tragic loss of Dr. Thomas Littlejohn, III, treasured friend, colleague, and co-founder of Maplewood Family Practice. He was a gifted physician, astute businessman, and excellent medical partner. We will miss him greatly, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

FAA officials said the plane is a Hawker Beechcraft BE58.  It was headed from Wilmington to Winston-Salem, but the pilot requested to be diverted to Greensboro due to adverse weather in Winston-Salem.  The plane crashed short of the runway. 

AUDIO: Hear transmissions from air traffic controllers

Officials from the FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.   Building inspectors checked the house to make sure it was safe for investigators and cleared them to go in. 

Fire officials said the family still cannot enter the home because it is considered an active crash scene. 

The FAA said the plane is registered to Jet Logistics operating out of Charlotte.  The company does corporate charter flights.

Neighbors in the area tell WFMY News 2 that it sounded like a bomb went off when the plane hit the house. They said was a lot of smoke.

Maurice Spagnola, who lives across the street from the crash, described plane parts scattered across the road and in his front yard.  He said that a man and three children were able to escape the crash.

"I was in there eating dinner. We heard this massive explosion, we knew something bad was wrong," said Spagnola.

"It rattled the house really. It was a massive noise," he said.

Bryan Moody heard the crash from inside his house and went to check out the scene.

"Saw an airplane sticking out of a house and one engine's laying in the street, one engine's laying in the backyard beside the airplane," said Bryan Moody. "The house was on fire. The plane that was in the house was on fire. Both the engines were on fire."  

The Red Cross is assisting individuals impacted by the crash.

Stay with WFMY News 2 and Digtriad.com for the very latest.

 


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