UPDATE: Pilot in fatal crop duster crash identified

UPDATE: Pilot in fatal crop duster crash identified

DUNKLIN COUNTY, MO (KAIT) - A Dunklin County community mourns the death of a crop duster pilot.

The crash happened shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday on Dunklin County Road 426.

Although the official cause of death has not been determined, Sheriff Bob Holder said it appeared the pilot, Jack Short, may have hit a power line based on the damage on the scene of the crash.

Holder said Short was an experienced pilot, working with a flying service and had just sprayed the fields in that area on Wednesday.

Short was the only person inside the crop duster.

Residents in the area who knew Short had a hard time coming to terms with his sudden death.

Randy Bridges described Short as his best friend, and they worked together for nearly 12 years.

Bridges said he was in disbelief when his daughter broke the news to him Thursday morning.

"If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here talking today," Bridges said. "I was electrocuted in 2004 behind the hospital. Jack and I were in the bucket together and I got into the line and he actually pulled me off the line. He got flash burns to his eyes. 7,620 volts went into my shoulder and came out of my right hand. We had a safety harness on and he pulled me off the line himself."

Sheriff Holder said the department plans to share the pictures and diagrams they have of the scene with the Federal Aviation Administration, who will continue the investigation.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android