BETHLEHEM, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Two men died after a plane crashed into Lake Hickory Sunday afternoon, according to the City of Hickory.
The pilot has been identified as Jeffrey Jay Cooley, 63, of Granite Falls, and the passenger has been identified as Brian Frank Miller, 49, of Hickory, N.C. State Highway Patrol said.
Troopers said they were called around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 13, to a plane crash into Lake Hickory near Selkirk Drive.
According to officials, a single-engine Super Petrel Amphibious Plane had just left the Hickory Regional Airport when it hit power lines and crashed into the lake.
Both the pilot and passenger died from their injuries while at the scene, troopers confirmed with Queen City News. The FAA is in charge of the investigation.
“We had about 14 to 20 emergency vehicles out there with Hickory Fire Department, EMS, Catawba County EMS, State Highway Patrol,” neighbor Alan Clark told QCN.
Emergency officials decided to tow the plane to the bank of the lake in Clark’s backyard.
“People die in tragic accidents every day, and obviously the EMS guys… deal with it every day, and we have to remember to remember those families because we go on, but their families don’t,” Clark continued.
Following the crash, there were more than 18,000 power outages in Catawba and Caldwell Counties, according to Duke Energy. Power has since been restored.
Hickory Police have reported that several traffic lights went out on N.C. 127 in Hickory, and all intersections are to be treated as four-way stops.