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Autopsy Results Show No Abnormalities In Congressman’s Death

November 24, 1989

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) _ Toxicology tests showed no abnormalities that could be the cause of an Aug. 13 plane crash that killed Rep. Larkin Smith and his pilot, the cornoner said.

The tests turned up no drugs or alcohol in either man’s blood, Perry County Coroner Randall Carnahan said Wednesday night. He also said carbon monoxide levels were within normal limits.

The results were ″more or less a clean bill of health,″ Carnahan said.

The final report on the crash could be ready before the first of the year, said Jorge Prellezo, regional director of the Miami office of the National Transportation Safety Board.

″I can’t anticipate when the report will be ready, maybe in a month or so,″ he said Friday. ″We’re still working on that.″

Prellezo said the NTSB is waiting on a radar report from Washington, D.C. The report is not expected to contain new information, he said.

The single-engine Cessna, flown by Chuck Vierhling, crashed into the DeSoto National Forest about 13 miles south of New Augusta the night of Aug. 13. Smith was returning to the Gulf Coast after participating in opening ceremonies of the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Hattiesburg.

Smith was elected to Congress in 1988. Gene Taylor, whom Smith defeated in 1988, won the special election to fill Smith’s unexpired term.

In the days immediately after the crash, the NTSB ruled out weather and possibile aircraft malfunctions as the cause of the crash.

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