A seriously injured man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Wednesday morning after being discovered at the scene of a plane crash in the the La Push area, according to the …
A seriously injured man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Wednesday morning after being discovered at the scene of a plane crash in the the La Push area, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The plane may be one that was believed stolen in Port Townsend Tuesday.
An aircraft, a blue-and-white Cessna 150, had reportedly been stolen from the Jefferson County International Airport Tuesday.
According to Detective Sgt. Brett Anglin, police received a call Tuesday about a suspicious man at the airport who had allegedly approached a plane owner wanting to rent an aircraft.
The man failed to produce any license or insurance when asked, and the plane owner refused and called police to report the incident.
The caller noted at the time another plane parked nearby, a blue-and-white Cessna 150, which was later discovered missing.
The caller contacted police to report the vanished plane, who in turn contacted the owner and learned it should still be parked at the airport.
Police were able to track the missing aircraft using its GPS signal as it headed west.
Possibly, Anglin said, the plane stopped briefly at the Bremerton National Airport before continuing west.
The GPS signal was lost about 20 miles north of Hoquiam and police were then unable to track or locate the plane.
According to the sheriff's office, at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday a witness reported a possible plane crash near the La Push area.
Deputies and law enforcement attempted to search the area but could not locate anything due to the spot being so remote and heavily wooded.
The search was resumed Wednesday morning and a Navy helicopter crew reported finding a downed plane with a pilot in critical condition.
Whether the man was inside the plane or near it at the time was unclear, according to Anglin.
The case is still under investigation and it is not clear, according to the sheriff's office, the two incidents are directly related or if the downed aircraft is the same as the one that is missing from the Jefferson County International Airport.
"We have not received confirmation at this point that the two incidents are related," the sheriff's office said in a post on social media.
However, the wounded man found at the scene of the crash is the same as the man subsequently identified as being the suspicious character reported hanging around the airport, Anglin said, based on a physical description and "other factors."
Based on security video from the airport, which shows a suspect breaking into an office and stealing a log book and keys, Anglin said police believe only the pilot was in the aircraft at the time of the crash.
Aircraft theft is not a common crime, Anglin said, and police recalled the case of Colton Harris Moore, the notorious "Barefoot Bandit" who was later sent to prison after a string of burglaries and stolen boats and aircraft.
Moore is not a suspect in this incident, Anglin added.