One person was killed in a Union County plane crash Thursday night.
The crash happened around 7 p.m. in a wooded area near New Salem and New Hope Church roads, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, reported that the pilot was killed in the crash. Investigators identified the pilot as James Howard Cook, 68, of Lexington.
Authorities told WBTV that Cook had flown a client to Daytona Beach, Fla., earlier Thursday and they believe he was returning to Greensboro when the crash occurred.
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WSOC-TV reported that Cook was a long-time pilot for Richard Childress Racing. He retired from the race team and worked part-time for various corporate customers, the station reported.
It was unclear what caused the crash.
Photos from the scene taken by WBTV showed a small, single-engine plane crashed into a grove of trees. Firefighters and other first responders surrounded the craft.