ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is investigating a crop duster crash that left one dead in St. Francis County.
According to Dan Noble, the report came in around 6:59 a.m. on July 11. The area emergency manager reported the downed crop duster in a field off of Highway 78, north of Wheatley. The fire department was on scene to put out the fire. One confirmed fatality at this point. The victim has been identified by the Wheatley Marshal Service as Chad Mclain. Mclain is the fire chief for the Wheatley Volunteer Fire Department.
In a post on their Facebook page they said, "It is with deep sadness that we regret to inform you of the passing of Fire Chief Chad Mclain with the Wheatley Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Mclain had been a member of the WVFD since 1994 and was a local farmer and agri pilot, he is survived by his Wife and Daughter. Funeral arrangements will be posted as soon as they become available. We ask that everyone keep his family and this community in their thoughts and prayers during the coming days."
A message from Lynn Lunsford, Mid-States Public Affairs Manager Federal Aviation Administration sent this to the THV11 newsroom, "FAA investigators are on their way to the accident site near Wheatley. At this point, I don't have a lot of additional information about the circumstances, other than it involved an agricultural aircraft. You can find out about the condition of the pilot from local officials. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and will be in charge of the investigation."