Dr. Mark Allen Lewis, 63, was killed when his Cessna plane was discovered in the marsh in the vicinity of Carr’s Neck Road on Dec. 21.
According to Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, he was a resident of McIntosh County.
Sikes said several members of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Liberty County Fire Services waded through the woods and marsh waters to recover the body. Lewis was initially reported missing by family members shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday Dec. 20.
The investigation and recovery process began around 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21, when an aircraft flying over Liberty County spotted what appeared to be a wing and tail from a plane in the marsh waters, according to Liberty County Fire Services Chief, Brian Darby.
The pilot who spotted the wreckage notified authorities. Darby said that set-off a search for the downed Cessna.
After a lengthy search they discovered the plane several miles from Carr’s Neck Creek Road.
In order to reach the wreckage first responders had to wade through marsh waters on foot as well as use all-terrain vehicles. When they reached the plane they discovered Lewis was still in the cockpit.
He was carefully placed into the rear of one of the ATV’s and transported to a dirt road where Liberty County Coroner Reginald Pierce pronounced him deceased.
Had the plane not been spotted Darby said it may have taken much longer to realize where the plane had crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration took over the investigation Dec. 22.