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An Oklahoma Highway Patrol airplane crashed Friday while searching for a missing person

The highway patrol was sent to find a man who wandered off in the woods after he crashed his vehicle near Bethel Road and State Highway 9 in Pottawatomie County
by Juliana Keeping Modified: July 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm •  Published: July 26, 2013

— An Oklahoma Highway Patrol pilot was pulled from burning wreckage after his airplane crashed in a field Friday evening.

The pilot, described as experienced, was seriously injured in the crash about three miles west of Tecumseh.

Trooper Betsy Randolph said the pilot was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center. She did not release his name.

Earlier, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said officers at the scene told him the pilot was out of the plane and unconscious, and had possible broken bones. He regained consciousness and was able to talk to emergency personnel, Booth said.

Randolph said the pilot was bloody and face down on the ground when found by law enforcement personnel.

Troopers were looking for a man who left the scene of a vehicle accident and was thought to have a head injury when the aircraft went down, Booth said.

Randolph said it wasn't clear if the man involved in the vehicle wreck was intoxicated, leading him to flee after the wreck.

The sheriff's department took him into custody Friday, she said.

While it isn't known what caused the plane crash, Randolph said mechanical failure is suspected.

The crash occurred on a significant date for Oklahoma troopers.

On July 26, 1990, Joe Nicolle was piloting a highway patrol helicopter when it clipped a power line and crashed about four miles east of Tahlequah. He was on his way to Watts to help deputies eradicate a marijuana crop, she said. has disabled the comments for this article.
by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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