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Pilot Killed in Plane Crash on Downtown Interstate

October 30, 1989

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ A twin-engine plane crashed on a downtown interstate highway in an apparent emergency landing attempt early Sunday, killing the pilot and seriously injuring his wife, authorities said.

Witnesses said the Cessna 420B’s right engine was on fire before the crash, according to police Lt. Bert Jenkins.

″The plane apparently did clip a power pole or light pole along the interstate and went down,″ Jenkins said.

State police identified the pilot as Bob Hamilton, 53, of Warsaw, Mo. His wife, Merlene, 58, was in serious but stable condition at University Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

The plane crashed on Interstate 30 around 2 a.m., just after taking off from North Little Rock Municipal Airport, state police said. Hamilton was taking a load of Arkansas Gazette newspapers to Springdale, about 200 miles northwest of Little Rock, officials said.

Traffic on the highway was rerouted for several hours as Federal Aviation Administration officials began an investigation and crews cleaned up debris.

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