A federal inmate, four federal prison officers and a pilot were aboard a plane involved in a crash this morning (January 18).
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that one inmate —who has not been identified at the time of this writing— as well as four staff members from the Federal Correctional Institute Elkton in Lisbon, Columbiana County, were on board the aircraft. Ohio State Highway Patrol said the flight, which took off from Youngstown, was headed to Detroit, Michigan.
The Federal Aviation Administration received a distress call from the aircraft at about 9 a.m. that it was experiencing engine failure and needed to perform an emergency landing at Geauga County Airport. The FAA then notified the Geauga County Sheriff's Office. The emergency landing went past the length of the runway, resulting in a minor crash that damaged the underside of the plane and the landing gear. Middlefield Fire Captain Tony Yeropoli said that although the damage to the plane looked dramatic, the field where the pilot landed was muddy, which actually helped slow down the aircraft, avoiding further damage.
There were no reported injuries. In fact, Yeropoli said the passengers were walking around outside the plane when Middlefield crews arrived. They were evaluated by a paramedic before law enforcement took over the inmates' continued travel.