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Small Plane Crashes Into West Virginia House, Four Injured

March 15, 1991

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) _ A small plane crashed into a house Thursday, injuring four family members aboard, one critically, officials said. No one on the ground was hurt.

The four-seat, single-engine Cessna clipped some treetops, the roof of one home and struck the front of another house, state police Trooper Gary Tincher said.

Homeowner Wanda Sizemore said she was sitting inside when the plane hit and thought it was a car crash, but when she got up to look outsideshe found part of the plane engine in the house.

Thomas Metcalfe, 46, his wife, Sarah, 41, and their two children, of Bluefield, Va., just across the state border, were hospitalized with multiple injuries, said a spokeswoman for Princeton Community Hospital who would not give her name.

Jeffrey Metcalfe, 18, was in critical condition with head injuries. His father, mother and sister, Sarah Anne Metcalfe, 16, listed were in serious condition, the spokeswoman said.

The airplane was bound for Mercer County Airport in southern West Virginia, manager John Gilley said.

The plane was flying from Columbia, S.C., said Duncan Pardue, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Eastern Regional office in New York.

The pilot of the plane had not radioed to report any trouble before the crash six miles away, Gilley said.

Neighbors began pulling the victims from the plane before rescue workers arrived. Firefighters sprayed the house and wreckage with foam, and no fire broke out, authorities said.

″We haven’t determined what caused the wreck,″ said Mercer County Sheriff’s Sgt. R.A. Hill.

One witness said he saw the plane in trouble.

″I saw him come out of the clouds. His wings were very wobbly but he appeared to have power,″ said Ed Lowe, who was jogging when the plane crashed.

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