Police release name of truck driver in Owls Head runway crashIdentities of plane crash victims still not released
Owls Head — "At this time the Knox County Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into the plane crash at the Knox County Regional Airport," Chief Deputy Tim Carroll wrote Nov. 17 in an email to local press. "It has been a day-long event trying to properly identify the victims of the crash. Working with family and friends of the deceased of possible people involved is ongoing at this time. Working with the State of Maine Medical Examiner's Office and Fire Marshal's Office, positive identification will not be released until DNA results are confirmed, which won't be until later this week. The bodies have been transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Augusta where autopsies are scheduled to begin tomorrow."
Carroll said in a phone interview that one of the people believed to have been on the plane is from Maine and the other two are from out of state.
He noted that the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on-scene investigating the cause of what he described as a "horrific crash."
"At this time we know that a Cessna 172 was taking off on Runway 13/31, headed north," Carroll wrote. "Approximately 1,000 yards into take-off, the plane struck a 1994 GMC Sonoma truck operated by Stephen Turner, 62, of Camden. Turner is a licensed pilot that works out of the airport and was crossing the runway at that time. Turner had just assisted in putting a plane away in a hanger across from the terminal. This was routine practice that occurs daily."
Carroll said investigation will continue at the scene of the crash Sunday, Nov. 18. The wreckage of the plane remains at the scene.
Investigators used a Maine Forest Service helicopter to access the scene Nov. 17 and take the bodies out of the woods. Carroll said the plane is located on airport property in a wooded area that is difficult and treacherous to access on foot given that it is down a hill, over a stream and through some brush growth. In addition, he noted that using the helicopter allowed the team to access the site while preserving the evidence and moving the equipment and personnel needed.
Police will remain at the scene to provide security.