OHP Identifies Pilot Killed In Crop Duster Crash Near Enid
ENID, Oklahoma - A man is dead after the crop duster he was flying crashed into a field just north of Enid Tuesday morning. The accident is now being investigated by state and federal agencies.
The plane went down in a field near Highway 45 and Garland Road. State troopers say Rodney Sherry, 52, was flying over the field around 7:10 a.m. when he clipped the top of a radio tower, in a tragically similar fashion to a plane crash just last month.
Sherry, a Texas native, had been working for Deterding Aerial Spraying out of Pond Creek, Oklahoma. The owner of the plane is Jim Deterding, whose brother Andrew Deterding was piloting a crop duster for another company when he was killed after striking a radio tower at the end of May.
“It is a tragic situation and our hearts go out for that company and the families,” said OHP Trooper Darrin Lancaster.
The Department of Agriculture is now working to make sure there is no lasting contamination from the chemicals the plane was carrying, as the FAA and NTSB try to piece together what led to Sherry striking the tower and its guywires.
Troopers say safety measures were in place, however.
“From my understanding, there was a flashing light at the very top,” said Lancaster, “and of course it’s not there now due to the accident and part of the tower that’s been taken down.”
The radio tower, owned by American Tower, is not a new installation, but neighbors do report a number of new smaller mesonet towers going up recently. Troopers urge low-flying pilots to use caution to avoid another tragedy.
“We’ve always got to be aware of what we’re doing and be as careful as we can be,” Lancaster said.
The Deterdings are asking for the public’s prayers during this difficult time, but are not yet ready to provide additional comment.