Trooper one of two killed in plane crash
BY MATT BARNARD World Staff Writer
Monday, September 29, 2008
9/29/08 at 2:12 AM
OWASSO — A twin-engine airplane crashed about noon Sunday in a rural agricultural area north of Tulsa, killing two men, one of whom was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol captain.
The Cessna 320 crashed in a field near East 116th Street North and Sheridan Road, about a mile from the rural airstrip where it took off, authorities said.
Larry Jackson, 49, and Harvey Hazelwood, 55, both of Collinsville, were killed. Jackson was a well-respected officer with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and was not on duty at the time of the accident, said OHP Lt. George Brown.
As authorities combed through the wreckage Sunday afternoon, troopers gathered at the airstrip with Jackson's wife to mourn the death of their colleague.
"I can't say enough about Larry," Brown said. "He's seen a lot, done a lot, and saved a lot of lives, and then this. It's very tragic."
The cause of the crash was unclear Sunday evening as federal investigators headed to Tulsa to analyze the aircraft's damage, Brown said.
"Any assumptions about the crash would be just that — assumptions," he said.
Several witnesses said the plane wasn't smoking or making noises that would indicate engine failure.
Eric Mikel, who owns the grassy field where the aircraft crashed, said planes regularly fly over the area and that he thought the pilot was performing aerial acrobatics.
The aircraft banked severely after taking off from Airman Acres, but Mikel said he didn't think it was going to crash.
"I didn't know if it was going to do a stunt and it was going to pull back," Mikel said. "I thought it was a little too far over for the normal turn they make."
Jackson had extensive flying experience with both fixed-wing planes and helicopters and had previously flown for the OHP for almost 20 years, Brown said.
Friends said Jackson had recently retired from the Army Reserve, having served in several countries overseas as a military police officer.
"I can't believe this happened because he was such an amazing person," said Debbie Goeken, who met Jackson about 13 years ago while he was working security at a Bank of Oklahoma branch where she also worked.
"Larry was an officer who wanted to do the right thing and correct the wrong things. He was 100 percent decent. It's a huge loss."
Federal Aviation Administration documents list Hazelwood as the owner of the craft, which was built in 1965. Models similar to Hazelwood's can reach a top speed of nearly 240 mph and have a range of more than 1,400 miles.
A woman who answered the phone at Hazelwood's residence declined to comment on the crash. He was a dock inspector for American Airlines in Tulsa, a co-worker said.
Gov. Brad Henry issued a brief statement on Sunday afternoon, saying he was "saddened by the loss and that his thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Jackson and his family."
Matt Barnard 581-8408
Authorities investigate the site of the plane crash near Owasso north of Tulsa on Sunday. The plane had taken off from the private Airman Acres airport about a mile south from the crash site, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said. MATT BARNARD/ Tulsa World