Marion County Sheriff's Office

South Carolina pilot dies in Marion County plane crash

Investigators to determine role severe weather played in accident

April 04, 2017 - 7:32 pm

NW MARION COUNTY – The pilot of a small plane died Tuesday morning in a rural Marion County accident. The plane crash-landed in a pasture off NW 150th Ave. Rd. between Williston and Micanopy.


Marion County Sheriff’s Office identified the deceased as 64-year-old Riley Stevens of Anderson, South Carolina. Marion County Fire Rescue found Stevens inside the wreckage, and pronounced him dead at the scene. Stevens was determined to be the plane’s sole occupant.


Stevens was traveling from Sebring, Florida to Clemson, South Carolina. The Federal Aviation Administration said he was piloting a small, VIRUS-SW experimental aircraft.


Authorities covered the wreckage of the pieces of the plane with a tent to preserve the evidence as investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration combed through the pieces throughout the day.


The plane crashed during an intense storm. A tornado warning was issued minutes before the accident. Downed trees in the area delayed first responders from getting to the crash site.  However, investigators have not yet determined if the severe weather caused the accident.

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