The National Transportation Safety Board has released its first report on a plane crash that seriously injured an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper last month.
Trooper Dennis Dickens was hurt when the single-engine Cessna 182 he was flying went down near Tecumseh on July 26, 2013. The plane was owned by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
Dickens crashed while helping members of law enforcement on the ground who were chasing a man who'd left the scene of a car crash.
According to the NTSB's Preliminary Report, visibility was 10 miles at the time of the crash. The report says Dickens took off from the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport at 5:56 p.m. and the crash happened at 7:10 p.m.
Troopers say Dickens was thrown from the aircraft, which may have saved his life. The NTSB report says the plane caught fire after the crash and was substantially damaged.
The Preliminary Report is the first of three reports the NTSB will release on the crash. Next up will be the Factual Report, followed by the Probable Cause. It usually takes the NTSB several months, sometimes even years, to complete an investigation on a single crash.
Authorities caught up with the suspect from the original car crash, 50-year-old Brent McKenzie of Shawnee, near the scene. They booked him into the Pottawatomie County Jail on several charges, including DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, unsafe lane change and resisting arrest.