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National Transportation Safety Board

Pilot, sheriff's deputy killed in Tulare County plane crash

Pilot, sheriff's deputy killed in Tulare County plane crash

A Tulare County sheriff's deputy and a pilot who worked for the Sheriff's Department were killed Wednesday when their plane crashed into a mountain in the San Joaquin Valley, authorities said.

The single-engine plane, which the Sheriff's Department purchased in 2011, crashed about 4:15 p.m. about 10 miles east of Porterville, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said.

The plane ignited after it crashed, sending a plume of black smoke into the sky.

The pilot, James Chavez, 45, and Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, were the only two on the plane. Boudreaux said he met with family members before he released the men's names to the public.

“We ask...

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