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Update: Crop Dusting Airplane Kills Man Resurfacing Runway

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: May 10 2013 10:09:32 AM CDT
Updated On: May 10 2013 07:59:42 PM CDT
BIGGS, Calif. -

KRCR News Channel 7 has learned new details about a man who was hit and killed by a crop dusting airplane in Butte County.

The collision happened at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, northwest of Biggs.

The crop duster was taxiing on a landing strip near Afton Road when it hit a 66-year-old Willie Valdez Suarez, of Texas.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the pilot was weaving and taxiing on the ground on the airstrip.  Due to the configuration of the aircraft, with an upturned front end, the pilot was unable to see the pavement directly in front of him.

Suarez died before first responders arrived on the scene. He was there doing work for a private contractor that was resurfacing the runway.

Investigators say Suarez was hard of hearing, and may not have heard the plane approaching him.

The FAA was notified of the incident and they are investigating. CAL-OSHA has also been notified.