GAINESVILLE, Ga – Gainesville Police say one man is dead, another is in critical condition after a single-engine plane crashed near Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport on Saturday night.
Investigators say the crash happened around 7 p.m. The small plane started coming down outside of the airport near Queen City Parkway. It struck the tip of some trees and hit an unoccupied light tower upon approach. The aircraft ultimately crashed on airport property. It's currently stuck in a ravine, which police say is difficult to reach.
Once paramedics arrived on scene, the two men were rushed to Northeast Georgia Hospital in critical condition. One man has since died, the other victim remains in critical condition.
The cause of the crash is unknown at this time, but the FAA is expected on scene by midnight to investigate the accident. No word yet on the identities of the victims, but FOX 5 Atlanta is continuing to gather more details from investigators.
Queen City Parkway was closed between Aviation Blvd. and West Ridge Road as emergency crews remained on scene. Queen City Parkway has since reopened.
Robert Carlisle Alberhasky, 68, died after his 2015 Lancair International Legacy RG crashed. Alberhasky is believed to have been the pilot, police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said.
Mark Lewis, 69, of Flowery Branch was also in the plane and critically injured. He was taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where Holbrook said Sunday morning that he is believed to be in stable condition.
Police and both the Gainesville and Hall County fire departments arrived on the scene shortly after receiving a 911 call close to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The Federal Aviation Administration arrived at about 10 p.m.
It appears that the plane was about to land when at some point it possibly struck some trees across Queen City Parkway and then struck a tower here at the airport, Holbrook said Saturday.
Emergency personnel discovered the single-engine plane had fallen down an embankment along Queen City Parkway.
Gainesville Police, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. Holbrook said the NTSP is expected to arrive Sunday morning and will be in charge of the investigation.