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Ocala
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

65-year-old pilot killed when small plane crashes in Ocala National Forest

A pilot was killed early Wednesday morning when his small private plane crashed in the Ocala National Forest near Orange Springs.

Deputies and detectives from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident after receiving a call for a downed aircraft. The sheriff’s office’s aviation unit also responded and located the plane in a remote area of the forest, a report states.

The location of the crash site made access difficult. However, investigators eventually were able to reach the single-engine plane, where they found the pilot’s body. He was identified Thursday as 65-year-old John Toole Jr. No other information about the pilot was available.

Investigators believe Toole may have been attempting to land at a nearby, private airstrip when the crash occurred. Federal investigators are continuing to investigate the incident.