1 Killed After Cessna Crashed in Mendocino County

Sunday, June 8, 2014
By George Hatcher

A privately-owned Cessna airplane hit a tree and crashed in a wooded area off the 16200 block of Branscomb Road, west of Laytonville, Mendocino County in California, at around 7:30 p.m. on June 5.

The pilot, identified as Kenneth Gillespie, 63, of Laytonville, died on the spot.

According to Laytonville Volunteer Fire Chief Jim Little, “It was not a survivable crash.”

The crash happened on a gravel bar on the Eel River, near a private airstrip. Responders waded through the shallow water to recover the body of the victim.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Lt. Kirk Mason said that the owner of the private airstrip reported the incident and described Gillespie as his friend.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have started investigating the crash. Laytonville Fire, Cal Fire, the CHP and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

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