July 13, 2024
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Fatal Downed Aircraft

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, tragedy struck in Modoc County as authorities responded to reports of a downed aircraft near County Road 60, northwest of Likely.

The Modoc County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center received a distressing call around 2:45 pm, alerting them to the incident. First responders swiftly mobilized to the scene, where they tragically confirmed the lone occupant of the aircraft had succumbed to the crash. The aircraft in question was described as a single-prop agriculture plane commonly used for dusting or spraying large acreages with pesticides and hydroseeding. The aircraft was believed to be spraying seeds in the fields before it went down. Notably, officials clarified that the aircraft was not carrying any pesticides at the time of the crash.

Eyewitnesses were scarce, with no direct accounts of the plane going down. However, a concerned citizen from Likely reported seeing the aircraft and dust in the air, prompting the swift response of first responders. The pilot has been identified as 69-year-old Peter J. Spyres, hailing from Arbuckle, California. The aircraft itself is registered to Jones Flying Service, based out of Biggs, California. As of now, the cause of the crash remains undetermined and is under thorough investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. Both agencies were on site on Wednesday to conduct a detailed examination of the wreckage and gather pertinent evidence.

Additionally, authorities have disclosed that the cause of Mr. Spyres’ death is still undetermined and is subject to ongoing investigation. The findings of the FAA and NTSB investigation will be pivotal in uncovering the circumstances surrounding the crash and potentially preventing similar occurrences in the future.

The community of Likely and beyond mourns the loss of Mr. Spyres and awaits further developments in the investigation.

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