Pilot died from blunt force trauma in plane crash

A Michigan pilot who died when his single-engine plane crashed into a treeline near Williams Flying Field on Wednesday suffered blunt force trauma, Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said today.

Nolting said toxicology tests are pending, and the death of pilot Ren Sagaert, 77, Shelby Township, Michigan, has been ruled as an accident.

Sagaert suffered blunt force trauma to his head, chest, abdomen and extremities in the plane crash, Nolting said. The crash was reported at 12:52 p.m. Wednesday and is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Sagaert was taking off from the flying field in his Temco Swift plane, built in 1948, when he appeared to have difficulty in retracting the landing gear. The plane veered to the left and flipped upside down before going into the tree line near the flying field at 20950 E. County Road 200N.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.