Witness to plane crash talks to 12

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News 12 at 6 o' clock/ November 26, 2013

TRENTON, S.C.--We're learning more about what might have caused a deadly plane crash Monday night south of Trenton.

It happened just after 6 o'clock Monday night near the Twin Lakes airport, right off Rachel Lane. The pilot, Richard Showalter died in the crash.

Allan Swires heard the whole thing happen. He and a friend were in a hanger at Twin Lakes airport when they heard some radio chatter they couldn't really understand.

Swires says, "We heard a low flying plane in the back part of the hanger, and then we heard the crash."

They ran outside to see what happened. He says, "We were looking for a fire. We actually went to the end of the runway because we thought a fire was down there, but it was actually Christmas lights."

They eventually found the source of the sound which was a crumpled mess of a plane. Swires only thought one thing when he saw the wreckage, he says, "Nobody could have survived that."

Instincts took over and Swires and his friend rushed over to the plane.

He says, "We checked his pulse, but you could tell he wasn't alive."

They dialed 911 and waited for help to arrive. Swires says, "I just have a little more respect for the firemen and the policemen who have to come see this sometimes on a daily basis."

More shock set in Tuesday as Swires watched the rubble hauled away. He also saw a picture of the pilot for the first time, and realized it was someone he had met.

"I actually have met him before. I don't know him that well, and if I understand right, he's actually an instructor, a flight instructor," he says.

It's an ordeal Swires says he never in a million years expected to witness, and a scene that will never leave his mind.

"It's hard to explain. It's something I've never experienced before," he says.