4 injuries reported in Jackson Co. plane crash

By The Associated Press

OCEAN SPRINGS — Four people sustained what appeared to be minor injuries Saturday after a small plane taking off from the airport at Ocean Springs, Miss., had engine trouble and came down in a nearby neighborhood, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said.

The single-engine plane clipped two power lines in a residential area but hit no people, houses or cars on the ground, authorities said.

The accident was reported shortly after 2 p.m.

“They took off from the Ocean Springs Airport and as they were taking off they lost power, according to the pilot,” Sheriff’s Capt. Billy Bryant said. He said the plane hit two power lines and snapped some tree limbs before coming down not far from the airport, partly in the street and partly in a driveway. He said the Piper Cherokee 140 lost its right wing and the left wing was mangled, but the occupants of the plane walked away with what appeared to be minor injuries.

“They’re very fortunate,” he said. “I believe the pilot did a real good job of not hitting any houses or anything like that.”

He identified the pilot as Christopher Loepke and the occupants as Scott Walker, Dax Pitalo and Roy O’Bryant III. All are from Ocean Springs, he said.

The crash site is near North 12th Street in the area of Gulf Park Estates.