Crop duster crashes on Duplin County road

Crop duster crashes onto highway near Albertson in Duplin County.
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The road is now open again after a crop duster crashed near Albertson in Duplin County Saturday morning.

Albertson Fire Chief Winslow Tew says the crash happened at 8:30 at the intersection of Edward Grady Road and Shelton Hardy Lane.

Pilot Torben Christensen of Georgia told officials the plane felt sluggish while taking off. He says his landing gear was too low. Tew says the pilot hit a tree in the backyard of a mobile home, cleared the mobile home, and then hit another tree before the crop duster flipped and landed on the side of Edward Grady Road.

Christensen, who Tew says has been flying planes for 20 years, was able to walk around after the crash and refused medical treatment.

Tew says the crop duster had chemicals inside used to stop cotton from growing. He says those chemicals were contained and are not harmful to the environment.

Fire officials say there was a small fuel leak and it took roughly 3 hours and 15 minutes to clear the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.

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A crop duster had trouble getting off of the ground this morning, crashing onto a highway near Albertson in Duplin County.

Reid Southerland, emergency management director for Duplin County, told WITN that it happened around 8:30 this morning at the intersection of Gray Branch Road and Shelton Hardy Lane.

The pilot of the crop duster told Southerland that the plane was sluggish while taking off from a grass runway. After clearing a trailer, the plane leapfrogged another trailer when the propeller caught the dirt, causing the crop duster to flip onto the highway.

The plane did take out some power lines that were connected to a trailer.

The pilot refused medical treatment.

The owner was given permission to move the plane from the road to his property 150 feet away.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.