Investigators: Substance use led to fatal 2016 plane crash

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DENVER (AP) — Air crash investigators believe an Idaho pilot's alcohol and medication intake probably caused him to fatally crash his plane in southeast Colorado in 2016.

The Denver Post reported Tuesday that the National Transportation Safety Board determined the combination of substances likely led 64-year-old John Lee Stubblefield, of Meridian, Idaho, to attempt a maneuver that his plane was not equipped for. Stubblefield was killed in the crash near Sheridan Lake.

Investigators say they found a half-full bottle of vodka in the wreckage of Stubblefield's plane. Air-traffic controllers also reported that he had impaired speech and made confusing statements before crashing.

An air-traffic controller initially believed that Stubblefield was possibly suffering from a medical emergency or a lack of oxygen after his radio communications became out-of-the-ordinary and his plane made a series of turns, climbs and descents.
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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com



 
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