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Saturday, July 5, 2014
Emergency personnel respond to a crash site in Royalton where a small plane crashed shortly before noon today. (PHOTOS BY HEATHER N. GRIMMER / CONTRIBUTOR)


Emergency personnel bring the 79-year-old crash victim to Mercy Flight
this afternoon. The man was flown to ECMC. 
ROYALTON — A 79-year-old Erie County man was taken via Mercy Flight to ECMC after crashing his small plane at the Royalton Airport, 4855 Mackey Road.

Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour said the light-sport aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff just before noon today.

"As soon as he got up into the air, he veered to the right very sharply," Voutour said, crashing in the wooded area about 200 to 300 yards to the south of the runway.

Damage to the plane was "substantial," Voutour said. "The wings were broken. One of the wings was broken off. ... Lucky it came in through very very thick trees, which cushioned the blow."

The pilot, the sole occupant of the plane, was trapped in the cockpit of the plane and had to be extricated b medical and fire personnel. He was carried from the scene of the crash to the helicopter, a short distance away, then flown to the hospital. The identity of the pilot and his condition are not currently available, although the sheriff did say he suffered facial injuries.

"He had to be cut out of the aircraft and taken out on a stretcher," which took about an hour.

The Sheriff's Office is charged with securing the crash site until Monday when the FAA will investigate the scene, Voutour said. "Anyone who goes back there will be arrested."

Assisting the Sheriff's Office were New York State Police, Gasport and Tri-Community ambulance, Rural Metro and firefighters from all over the county.

More photos are available here
YouTube video of Sheriff Voutour's press conference in available here


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