Whitman County – On July 1st, 2022 at approximately 1348 hours, WSP Spokane Communications received a 911 call of an aircraft collision. The location of the collision was initially unknown. District 4 Troopers from the Colfax and Ritzville Detachments began an area search as initial information received indicated the collision occurred somewhere between Othello and Colfax.
In a coordinated effort with multiple communication centers from across the state, WSP Communications eventually spoke to the pilot directly via cell phone. The pilot, who was seriously injured, advised his location was near a grass airstrip north of State Route 26. Assistance from a Verizon cell phone ping provided an approximate location and troopers responded to the area.
Trooper Travis Brawdy located the plane north of State Route 26 near milepost 104 with the assistance of directions given to him through WSP communications by the pilot. Trooper Brawdy, after driving along a gravel road that was barely passable by vehicle, reached the pilot and began to immediately render aid and call for additional help.
The pilot was trapped in the aircraft and required immediate medical attention. Life Flight was requested and transported the pilot to a Spokane hospital for medical care. The pilot is expected to survive. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was notified and the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) took the lead as investigating agency for the collision.
We recognize WSP Communications and Colfax Detachment Troopers for their outstanding effort in locating the collision with little preliminary information.