Veronica Van Dress – The Daily Record

EAST UNION TWP. – A pilot was able to walk away after his crop dusting plane crashed Wednesday morning landing in a Wayne County yard.

Bernie Caldwell was at work when he got a call from his daughter, and later his wife, LeeAnn, about the crash on their Bechtel Road property.

“‘There’s an airplane in our yard, you need to come home right now,” Caldwell said she told him. “And I said, ‘I’m on my way.’ That doesn’t happen every day.”

Caldwell called it a miracle that the pilot is alive.

The plane, he said, had hit a high tension line, flew across a couple of fields, and clipped a tree near a neighbor’s house where the propeller was knocked off. Then it cartwheeled and tumbled on the ground before coming to rest against a tree — nose up — 15 to 20 feet from Caldwell’s garage.

“The pilot got out of the plane and walked away,” he said, noting the man was able to talk with law enforcement before he was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Pilot from Minnesota was crop dusting a field in Wayne County 

According to Caldwell, his brother-in-law, Jeff Kauffman, had hired the pilot to spray fungicide in a field on his 100-acre farm. He called 911 shortly before 10:30 a.m.

The Highway Patrol is investigating the crash near Eby Road. According to a news release, the pilot was the only person on board the Air Tractor AT-502 plane.

“The aircraft struck a wire causing the aircraft to lose control crashing into several power lines, utility poles and coming to final rest in a yard next to a garage,” the release states.

No one on the ground was hurt. Caldwell said it appeared a piece of the fuselage broke off and hit the garage door of his home.

“Our neighbor on the other side, she’s a nurse, got to (the pilot) first,” he said.

The pilot managed to dodge a number of trees, said Caldwell. 

Power was out to less than a dozen homes in the rural farming area on either side of Bechtel.

The pilot, Tyler James Vold, 24, of Breckenridge, Minnesota, was taken by ambulance to Wooster Community Hospital and was being treated for “minor injuries,” the patrol’s news release states.

Electric and cable lines were damaged. Crews from American Electric Power and MCTV were at the scene attempting to restore service.