Pataskala Man Killed In Small Plane Crash

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A Licking County man was killed Thursday evening when the single-engine plane he was flying crashed just after takeoff at Newark-Heath Airport.

The pilot was identified as Donny Asher, 51, of Pataskala, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported.

No one else was on board.

Witnesses said they saw the small plane clip a tree before it crashed in the back yard of a home, located across the street from the airport.  They said Asher was alive after the crash but died before he could be removed from the wreckage.

“The plane was completely demolished,” said Cassidy Clapp, who was one of the first people to reach the scene. “We saw the man in there and tried to keep him conscious, talk to him, tell him not to move.  It was horrible.”

Investigators said preliminarily that the crash appeared to have been caused by a mechanical problem, Landers reported.

Authorities were expected to continue their investigation on Friday.

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