Congressional candidate injured in plane crash at Sharp County Regional Airport

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2022 at 2:19 PM CDT
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SHARP COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat in Arkansas was injured Friday in a small plane crash at the south end of the Sharp County Regional Airport near Highway 62.

Jody Shackelford was airlifted to UAMS as a result of the crash, campaign spokesman Ethan Barnes said.

Barnes said Shackelford, who is challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Rick Crawford and State Rep. Brandt Smith in the May 24 primary, was okay and responsive but had back injuries. Shackelford was getting ready to land the plane Friday afternoon when it appeared the engine failed, his wife, Chrystal, said Sunday.

Barnes said the family is asking for prayers right now.

Barnes said late Friday night that Shackelford was undergoing tests into Saturday morning.

Shackelford has a spinal fracture, broken nose and retropulsion, or displaced vertabrae, Barnes said.

Authorities responded Friday afternoon to the scene of the crash.

Law enforcement at the scene confirmed to Region 8 News earlier in the day that a person was on board when the plane crash and that they were hurt.

Officials have called the FAA to help with the investigation into the crash.

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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