Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Eli Ruiz

THE COUNTY CORONER and local emergency services personnel remove the body of John Raftery from the spot in Firemen’s Park in White Sulphur Springs where his plane crashed Friday.

Woodridge Resident
Dies in Accident

By Eli Ruiz
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — August 16, 2005 – A 78-year-old man was killed Friday when his plane crashed in an open field on Shore Road in White Sulphur Spring’s Firemen’s Park.
John F. Raftery, of Woodridge, was killed on impact when he crashed his 1975 Cessna 150M nose-first into the field after clipping some power lines across the street.
According to witnesses, who included some members of the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department who were preparing for a barbeque and an on-duty Sheriffs Deputy having his lunch in the parking area, the plane banked to the left while approaching the field, clipped the power line and nosedived into the field, landing on its roof about 20 feet from the point of impact.
One witness, who asked not to be mentioned by name, said, “It was pretty loud, but there was no explosion or fire, so he probably ran out of gas.”
Responding to a scene littered with some of the plane’s parts and its pilot was the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department, the Liberty Fire Department, Liberty Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are assisting in the ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash. Undersheriff Joe Decker is the local official in charge of the investigation.

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