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March 9, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Plane crash near Mabank ISD school kills 1

GUN BARREL CITY — A single-engine plane crash near Lakeview Elementary left one man dead and another seriously injured Saturday afternoon.

Chris Gaylord Anderson, 42, of Gun Barrel City piloted the plane and was pronounced dead at the scene by Henderson County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock. A passenger, 48-year-old Mitchell Pasley was taken to East Texas Medical Center Tyler by helicopter. An official with ETMC Tyler said Pasley was listed in fair condition Sunday morning.

Both men were ejected from the plane upon impact, according to Sgt. Bob Shields with the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Athens.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected on the scene sometime Sunday.

Police received a call that a plane had crashed behind Lakeview Elementary — a Mabank Independent School District campus located on Harbor Point Road — at 5:20 p.m. Officers were on the scene in two minutes. Officials with the Gun Barrel City and Mabank police and fire departments were dispatched to the scene, as well as DPS.

The impact of the crash tore the aircraft apart and left its cockpit upside down. Pieces of the plane were strewn about the nearby area.

Shields said the plane struck powerlines just before the crash. Several witnesses at the scene said the plane may have had engine trouble judging by the sounds the aircraft was making as it passed overhead.

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Charles Stiff contributed to this report.

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