What happened:

The acting chief of surgery for the VA Hospital in Fayetteville was killed in a plane crash in Robeson County.  Retired Col. Virgil Thomas “Tom” Deal Jr, a decorated Army doctor who served in some of the military’s most elite commands, was piloting the Piper PA-28 Cherokee when it crashed in some woods near Parkton, about 5 miles short of the Fayetteville Regional Airport. The plane had taken off from Summerville, S.C. with no passengers aboard.

The plane was destroyed by fire after it crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and some reports have cited engine problems as the possible reason for the plane going down.  According to a witness report in the Robesonian, the plane made a “dive-bombing sound like in a World War II movie,” and looked like a “fireball” when it crashed.


The North Carolina Injury Lawyer Perspective:

Our condolences go out to the victim’s family and friends for this tragic accident. Given his extensive military background, and the eyewitness reports, it sounds as if something terribly wrong with the plane may have been the cause of this crash. If, when the NTSB finishes their investigation, it turns out there was a failure with the plane equipment, the family may want to contact a North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what options they may have.


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Potentially Helpful Info:

Our firm published an in-depth legal guide on what to do if you or a loved one was involved in a small plane accident. Read it here.