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Pilot injured in plane crash at Levelland airport

CROP DUSTER CRASH – A New Mexico man was hospitalized Thursday afternoon when this airplane he was flying crashed near the west side of Levelland Municipal Airport and. U.S. Highway 385. Passers-by pulled Richie Crockett from the wreckage and an ambulance took him to Covenant Hospital Levelland for treatment. His condition was not available late Thursday afternoon. (Staff Photo)

An Artesia, N.M., man was hospitalized Thursday afternoon when a crop duster airplane he was flying crashed near the west side of Levelland Municipal Airport.

The pilot, Richie Crockett,  was transported by a  Levelland EMS ambulance to Covenant Hospital Levelland.
He was conscious and talking to medical personnel before he was transported.

His condition was not available late Thursday afternoon.

The crash occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at U.S. Highway 385 and the airport.

Passers-by stopped and pulled Crockett free from the wreckage, said Levelland Police Chief Toney Cowan.

It wasnít clear if he was attempting to land the plane or take off from the airport at the time.

Part of his airplane was apparently snagged by a barbed wire fence on the west side of the airport. The nose and propeller of the aircraft broke loose and came to a rest against the fence. 

Tire tracks showed that the single-engine airplane touched down on U.S. Highway 385 before crashing in a bar ditch on the west side of the roadway.

Authorities detoured traffic around the crash site.

The airplane crashed about 220 yards from the home of Kerry and Mary Siders.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.


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