Wells plane crash eye witness: 'There was nothing left' - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Wells plane crash eye witness: 'There was nothing left; it's just burnt'

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WELLS, TX (KTRE) -

They were first on the scene at the plane crash near Wells Monday night that resulted in the death of an Oklahoma man and still can't believe what they saw.

Sarah Benton was one of the first people on the scene.

"We went through the fence with a cell phone light and a half dead spotlight, and we were walking," Benton said. "There was a strong smell coming like burning; a strong but unfamiliar kind of burning. We eventually ended up walking right up on it, and at that point, you know our adrenaline, our hearts were like going crazy because we were wondering, are there people there?"

The images of the burned plane will be forever embedded in their memory.

"Whenever I got over there, there was nothing left; it's just burnt, everything was burnt - the plane all melted down," Garrett Rogers, an eyewitness to the crash, said. "That's whenever I called the cops."

Deidra Turner said because there were a lot of emergency personnel in the area, they told acquaintances with the Wells Volunteer Fire Department if they were looking for a fire, she and her family thought their pasture was on fire.

"They were like, ‘Well, actually a plane crashed,' and I was like, ‘I seen it explode over our pasture.'"

Once the teens discovered the fire, several law enforcement agencies were everywhere in the wooded area within minutes, taking part in a massive search to find the crash scene. Josh Luellen, a Wells volunteer firefighter, said the scene was "chaotic and busy."

"At first it was pretty hectic because there was so many reports of different areas where the aircraft had went down," Robert Kalka, a Wells volunteer firefighter, said. "Once DPS got there, they completely shut it down and wouldn't let nobody, wouldn't let first responders, fire department in until the FAA got there."

Witnesses said they were hoping that it was just a plane that caught fire, but instantly saw a grim reality.

"All I could see was his clothes, and that's the only spot that was burning was where his clothes were; it looked tan, but it was pretty well crisped over," Rogers said. "It's kind of like a tan color, and all you could see was his boots."

Wesley Mills, another of the first people on the scene, said that he is still in "a little bit of shock" that they found the plane.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.

 

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