Boy Involved In Fatal Logan County Plane Crash Released From Hospital

Sunday, October 16th 2011, 6:57 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9, Staff and Associated Press Reports

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- Authorities say one person was killed and two others -- including an 11-year-old boy --  were hurt in a plane crash in Logan County.

According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph, 62-year-old Darrell Allen Smittle was killed in the crash Sunday, October 16. His son, 41-year-old Darrell Stewart Smittle, was transported to OU Medical Center in critical condition.

Troopers confirmed that Darrell Allen Smittle's grandson, 11-year-old Joshua Smittle, was also transported to OU Medical Center in fair condition.  He was discharged from the hospital early Monday morning.

Randolph says the plane appeared to be traveling from north to south and got caught in electrical wires before hitting a shed.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the three were on board the single-engine, four-seat Piper PA28 when it crashed about 3:30 p.m. Sunday near Guthrie, about 25 miles north of Oklahoma City.

Lunsford says he didn't know where the flight originated or where it was headed.

The remnants of the plane are now tattered and torn on top of power lines and a shed in Guthrie.

The crash happened less than 100 feet from Jerry and Lahonda Ball's home across the street from the Guthrie Country Club Saturday afternoon.

The Ball family's only concern is for the 11-year-old boy who they helped and was amazingly able to walk by himself to the ambulance stretcher following this tragic crash.

"We just heard a big boom and thought it was lightning," Jerry Ball said. "[My wife] She said there's an airplane in our backyard so I grabbed my shoes and went out to see what I could do."

Jerry did all he could to help the three family members aboard the plane. He says he could hear someone moaning from the inside of the plane and his wife Lahonda called 911.

"There's nothing you can really do, just try to get them and talk to them and comfort them, there's nothing else I could do," Jerry said.

Jerry and his neighbors, one who is a retired paramedic, tried to get all three passengers out of the plane. He talked to Joshua Smittle and was heartbroken by what he was hearing and seeing in front of him.

"They had been on a fishing trip in Arkansas," Jerry remembers the boy saying "The grandpa told them they needed to go for gas."

The Ball family is thinking and praying for the family of the passengers and Jerry hopes he will see Joshua again someday.

"Very, very nice young man, I'd like to meet him again," Jerry said.

The plane is registered to an Edmond resident. According to Rob Grossclose, Chief Deputy at the Logan County Sheriff's Office, the plane may have run out of gas and crashed on the golf course at State Highway 105 and Bogey Drive in Logan County.