Public Safety

Pilot dead after crop duster crashes in Bremer County

Cleanup was underway Thursday after a small plane crashed in Sumner, killing the pilot. The nearby First State Bank was damaged by debris from the crash. The plane crashed into power lines along Highway 93 and landed in the yard of a mixed-use building on the west edge of town. (Amie Rivers/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)
Cleanup was underway Thursday after a small plane crashed in Sumner, killing the pilot. The nearby First State Bank was damaged by debris from the crash. The plane crashed into power lines along Highway 93 and landed in the yard of a mixed-use building on the west edge of town. (Amie Rivers/Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

SUMNER — A crop duster plane crashed Thursday morning in Sumner, northeast of Waterloo, killing the pilot.

Bremer County Emergency Management Coordinator Kip Ladage said the plane went down on the “west edge of town” right off Highway 93.

Sumner police Officer Trey Myers said the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls at 7:21 a.m. about the crash.

Responders found a single-engine crop duster plane engulfed in flames, Myers said.

Bremer County Sheriff Dan Pickett confirmed the pilot died in the crash. The pilot’s name has not been released.

Officials think the pilot was the only one in the plane, Pickett said.

Officials covered the plane’s debris with a blue tarp where it came to rest against a tree in front of a mixed-use building that Myers said was a residence and storage building. He didn’t know if anyone was inside the building at the time of the crash.

Officials said the plane came in low and struck power lines on the way down, taking out power to some of the nearby businesses along West First Street, including Life Line Emergency Vehicles and Norby’s Farm Fleet, employees confirmed.

The plane then crashed into the ground in front of the mixed-use building that also houses a dog salon and a fitness center. No other injuries were reported.

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Karla Michel, Norby’s Farm Fleet manager, said she first heard the crash and then the power went out,

“We saw something black hit the parking lot — I guess it was a tire from the airplane,” she said.

An airplane tire bounced violently into the front door of First State Bank east of Norby’s, and employees were cleaning up glass that had shattered their front door.

Norby’s employees saw the plane crash into the tree.

“It was like a fireball,” said Lisa Smith, Norby’s assistant manager.

Pickett said officials were waiting on the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm more details of the crash.

Gazette reporter Kat Russell contributed to this report.

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