SAND VALLEY, Ala. (WIAT) — One person was killed after a small plane crash in Sand Valley Saturday afternoon.

Around 12:50 p.m., the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call stating that it sounded like a plane had crashed somewhere in the area of Sand Valley near Buster Willet Road. Deputies were dispatched and began canvassing the area when a second call came in at around 1:05 p.m. A citizen reporting that he had found the crash site located in an open field behind a residence located in the 200 Block of Kelley Lane off of Sand Valley Road in a rural area of the west side of Etowah County. 

When deputies arrived on the scene, along with members of local volunteer fire departments and others, they found a large open field with debris from a small plane scattered across acres. Deputies were able to identify the plane by locating the numbers on the tailpiece and identifying the operator with aviation authorities. He was flying a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza.

Authorities were able to identify the pilot who is the victim of the plane crash as Elliott George Charles Leadlay of Merritt Island, Fla.

Family members of Leadlay stated he was an experienced pilot with decades of flying.  Aviation officials, along with family members, confirmed he was flying a route from Kentucky, where he had been visiting a friend, and returning home to Florida at the time of the crash.  Identification was quickly obtained in various ways including a prosthetic limb that was known to have belonged to him.

The FAA has been notified and will assist in the investigation to probe the cause of the crash.