MURFREESBORO - A 5-year-old girl was killed and two others severely injured Sunday evening when a single-engine airplane crashed into a heavily wooded area just outside the Rockvale community, authorities said.
The pilot, a Rockvale man in his 50s, and the girl's 9-year-old brother were taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville with burns over much of their bodies, said Detective Dan Goodwin, a Rutherford County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.
The children were neighbors of the pilot, Goodwin said.
The Maule-type plane, specially designed for short takeoffs and landings, crashed on private property about a quarter-mile off South Windrow Road near state Highway 99.
The plane took off from a private airfield near the crash site.
The crash was witnesses by some Rockvale residents at about 6:59 p.m., including some off-duty law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene.