Two individuals were killed in a plane that crashed Tuesday morning in a pasture along Wrightsboro Road.
Thomson City Administrator John C. Waller confirmed the plan was attempting to fly into Thomson-McDuffie Airport, which is owned by the city and county. Waller also confirmed there were two suspected fatalities in the crash and described the plane as a small cargo plane.
Tuesday afternoon, McDuffie County Coroner Paul Johnson confirmed the deaths of the two pilots and released their names. Johnson pronounced Raymond Bachman, 73, of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; and Claude Duchesne, 63, of El Paso, Texas, dead at the scene.
The plane appeared to have struck some trees as it crashed into a pasture owned by Ernie and Sylvia Rogers approximately three-quarters of a mile west of the airport.
Maj. Ronnie Williamson, McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, said the 911 center received a telephone call from the Federal Aviation Administration at 6:26 a.m. reporting a missing plane and stating its last know location was in the area of Three Points Road and Wrightsboro Road.
Deputies responded and found the crashed plan in a field in the 3100 block of Wrightsboro Road. The McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office, the Thomson-McDuffie Fire Department, and McDuffie County EMS responded to the crash site. Wrightsboro Road was initially taped off by law enforcement near the crash site, but later the road was blocked with a barricade at Knox Rivers Road. The other end of Wrightsboro Road was blocked to traffic by a barricade as well.
McDuffie County Coroner Paul Johnson also responded to the scene. Local authorities secured the scene Tuesday morning and were awaiting the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials. The plane crashed on the Rodgers’ property but near the home of Sammy and Gayle McCorkle.
However, there were no injuries reported on the ground. The plane, according to online records, appears to have been a Dassault Falcon 20 owned by Career Aviation Company.
In a statement, the FAA reported “a Dassault Falcon business jet crashed near Wrightsboro Road in Thomson, Ga., around 5:44 a.m. local time today (Tuesday). Two people were aboard. The plane was flying from Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, to Thomson-McDuffie County Airport.”