At least one person has been killed after a plane crashed at the Madisonville Regional Airport around midnight.
The crash involved a small plane; a Piper PA 32-260, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, who are the lead investigating agency on the case. The Texas Department of Public Safety the original flight had begun in Missouri, and contained six occupants, five of whom survived.
"We don’t know male or female – at least I don’t," commented DPS Sgt. Justin Ruiz. "We do know they are all adults. Three were taken to the Bryan-College Station hospital, or hospitals in that area. One was taken to Memorial Hermann in Houston, and one was taken to Temple.”
The physical conditions of these victims are unknown, though Ruiz said he believes the two victims transported outside of the Brazos Valley are in critical condition.
The plane’s pilot lost his life. DPS positively identified the deceased as Apolo Diaz, a 68-year-old man from Kansas City, Missouri. Ruiz said his agency provided security for the crash, and arrived on scene about two hours following the initial impact. Though he is unsure why the plane crashed, he said the pilot was attempting to maneuver some kind of landing.
“It was about 300 yards from the actual runway," Ruiz noted. "So it hit the tree line first before it got to the actual runway.”
Throughout the day Monday, law enforcement closed off the small rural airport to the public, as investigators searched for scraps of evidence from the crash.
At this time, no indication has been made public as to why the plane might have crashed. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that they will release the aircraft’s tail number once it is identified on scene.