Community remembers pilot killed in Alapaha plane crash

Published: Sep. 16, 2016 at 2:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2016 at 9:04 PM EDT
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ALAPAHA, GA (WALB) - Officials in Berrien County and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating a plane crash that left one man dead.

Nashville native, Jason Watson, was flying the plane when it crashed.

It was a sad scene, as people kept driving by to look at the wreckage and briefly speak with WALB about the pilot.

Some individuals said they heard the plane crash Friday morning and felt helpless when they got over to the scene.

It was just before 9:30 in the morning when people working and living on the other side of a fence heard a crop duster buzzing over head.

A normal sound that quickly made a turn for the worst.

"It went blank. There wasn't no noise of the plane and you couldn't hear the motor running," explained witness James Davis.

"Five to ten seconds later, that's when I heard a boom. Then I seen the smoke. Then I rushed over here," said witness Ray Heath.

Just moments after hearing the crash, people quickly headed over to help the pilot of the plane.

"I got there and I was expecting to see somebody standing outside the plane watching the plane burn, but it wasn't like that when I crossed the fence," said Davis. "Starting off I said, no I don't see him. I thought maybe he's out here somewhere, ya know. Sure enough, I rounded the plane and I was like, the pilot's in the plane, he's no longer, no longer alive."

Watson did not survive.

Davis said that it's a reminder of how dangerous working in the agriculture industry can be.

"Anything to do with agriculture is so dangerous," explained Davis.

The crash is still under investigation, but officials said they believe it could be mechanical.

As for the pilot, friends, family and co-workers said Watson will not be forgotten.

"I really hate it for him and his family. He was a really good guy. A really nice guy," said Davis.

"It's a horrible event. Our heart goes out to the family and our prayers are with them," said Sheriff Ray Paulk.

And eyewitnesses said that it's a chilling memory they will never forget.

"I don't think I'll ever un-see it," said Davis.

The crash is still under investigation and WALB will continue to bring you new details as we get them.

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