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Plane's victim likely unaware of approaching danger

Mar 17, 2010 6:17:00 AM - thestate.com
A 38-year-old Georgia man struck from behind and killed when a small plane made an emergency landing on a Hilton Head Island beach Monday had been running and listening to his iPod -- probably unaware that the plane was bearing down on him, witnesses and officials said Tuesday.

Robert Gary Jones, a pharmaceutical sales representative from Woodstock, Ga., had been on Hilton Head for business, the victim's neighbor said.

Jones probably didn't see or hear the plane descending toward him -- it made no noise because its engine had failed and he was wearing headphones, officials from the Beaufort County Coroner's Office said.

The single-engine airplane made an emergency landing near Palmetto Dunes at about 6:10 p.m. Monday. The pilot was Edward Smith, 62, of Chesapeake, Va., according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report released Tuesday. Smith built the plane last year, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

A passenger in the plane was identified as David Henry, 59, also of Chesapeake, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)