BY ERIN TRACY
A crop duster airplane crashed near Vernalis and the pilot was taken to a hospital Friday afternoon, according to law enforcement.
The crash occurred just before 12:30 p.m. in an orchard near the 2400 block of Orchard Road.
The crop duster hit power lines before crashing, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office.
A California Highway Patrol Officer was in the area and saw smoke from the crash, according to Officer Tom Olsen. Officer Mitchell Buck arrived at the scene within minutes and found the pilot lying on the ground about ten feet from the burning airplane. Buck and a citizen helped move the pilot away from the wreckage, Olsen said.
The pilot suffered serious burns and at least one fracture and was flown to a Modesto hospital. He is expected to survive.
Sheriff’s deputies were in the area to ensure there were no safety hazards related to the downed wires and to secure the scene.