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Departing Airplane Strikes Truck On Runway, Three Fatally Injured

Truck Was Authorized To Operate At The Airport, Was Crossing Active Runway

A Cessna 172 (similar airplane picutred in file photo, not accident aircraft) with three people on board struck a pickup truck that was crossing an active runway at Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD) in Maine late Saturday afternoon. The truck was being driven by a pilot who was transiting the runway to pick up another pilot at his hangar.

The accident reportedly occurred as the airplane lifted off the runway, struck the pickup, continued to climb briefly, and then went down in thick woods near the airport. There was a post-impact fire that destroyed the airplane. While the three people on board the aircraft have not been officially identified, the University of Maine indicated that they were two current students who were members of the school's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity chapter, and that the third was an alumnus who had also been a fraternity member. One was said to be the fraternity's president, according to information posted on the university's website.

According to a report from the Associated Press, all of the airport's vehicles are equipped with radios to monitor air and ground traffic. Pilots are reportedly required to announce their positions and intentions before, during, and after takeoff. It was not known if the pilot of the plane had done so.

The driver of the truck was reportedly uninjured. Positive identification of those fatally injured is not expected until Wednesday, according to the university.

FMI: www.umaine.edu

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