2008-07-09 / Front Page

Plane crash Saturday here

by MCL staff writer

This Ayres Thrush aircraft crashed in a peanut field at the corner of Cooktown and Henry Miller roads. 
A call came in Saturday, July 5, at 11:41 a.m. to Miller County E911 that there had been a plane crash. The crash was in a field on the right of the Cooktown Road just outside the city limits. The 911 operator dispatched the ambulance service, law officers and later the Colquitt/Miller Co. Volunteer Fire Department.

When the officers and rescue units arrived, the pilot, Wayne Womble, of Colquitt, was out of the crashed plane and going to the airport to take a shower to remove any of the chemical that he was spraying. Womble stated that other than a cut between his fingers and a few scratches, he was all right.

After the pilot got out of his contaminated clothes and showered down good, he was taken to the local hospital emergency room to be checked for other injuries and to have his hand stitched.

In an interview with the pilot, he stated that he went down due to engine failure. He stated that he had just filled up with fuel and insecticide that he was spraying with. He said that he didn't have time to dump the fuel or chemical in fear of dumping it on someone or a passing vehicle on Cooktown Road.

A view of the site of the plane crash from Cooktown Road.
Womble attempted to set the crop dusting/spraying plane down in a peanut field owned by Kim Henley Farms. The landing gears on the plane folded and broke off, but the plane did not overturn or tear apart. The pilot was able to get out of the crashed plane on his own and leave the crash site.

He stated that there was some smoke to start with, but it went out.

Two pilots at the crash scene stated that Womble got out as well as he did due to his years of experience of knowing what to do in a bad situation. Both pilots stated that he had engine problems before the pilot was interviewed to confirm the cause of the crash.

A company officer of the flying service stated that they were so glad that the pilot got out without serious injuries. "The plane can be replaced, but a human life cannot. We won't know the exact cause of the engine failure until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes their investigation of the crash of the Ayres Thrush plane."

Womble stated that this was his first serious crash since the one that occurred near SR 45 over 31 years ago.

When Womble was checked on at the Double R Flight Service office at 93 Perry Street, he stated that he needed to get back into the air as soon as they sewed up his fingers. He stated that he had to get back to spraying to pay for the downed plane. His wife, Mrs. Barbie Womble, had different ideas about him flying again Saturday evening.

Sunday, the pilot was back in the local hospital taking treatments to try and stop the effects of the chemical that he was carrying in his plane. His wife stated that he stopped breathing at home and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. After receiving intravenous treatments, Womble stated that he was doing better. Womble was being prepared to be transferred to a Dothan, AL, hospital for more extensive treatment of the chemical poisoning.

Checking on Womble Tuesday morning in a Dothan hospital, he was looking for the doctor to release him to come home.

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