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W.Va. man killed in Carroll plane crash

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

FANCY GAP — A West Virginia man died early Sunday when his airplane crashed into a wooded area on Fancy Gap Mountain in Carroll County.

Ralph C. Young, 65, of Fayetteville, West Virginia, was making a round-trip between a private airstrip in his hometown and Elkin, North Carolina, when his fixed-wing, single-engine 1941 Piper crashed.

Virginia State Police were alerted of a possible crash at 2:10 a.m. With the help of Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the crash scene was located around 3 a.m.

According to State Police, Young’s body was located with the wreckage. The medical examiner’s office in Roanoke responded to the crash scene, off Cemetery Road.

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are assisting state police with an investigation into what caused the crash. Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, the county’s emergency services coordinator and Hillsville and Cana fire departments also assisted.

Fancy Gap Mountain is known for heavy fog that has accounted for many multivehicle crashes in the past. State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said it is still undetermined whether fog played a role in the airplane crash.

According to the National Weather Service, a special weather statement for isolated areas of dense fog was in effect for that area at the time of the crash. The NWS spokesman said records indicate preparations were underway to issue a dense fog advisory when NWS was notified of the crash.

This is a common time of year for fog due to longer nights and high humidity, the spokesman said.

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