Fire chief killed in crop duster crash in east Arkansas

Fire chief killed in crop duster crash in east Arkansas

WHEATLEY, AR (WMC) - An Arkansas fire chief died when the crop duster he was piloting crashed in eastern Arkansas.

The crash happened Wednesday morning in a field north of Wheatley, Arkansas, about 70 miles east of Little Rock.

Chad McClain, the chief of Wheatley's volunteer fire department, died in the crash. He was a farmer and a father to a 15-year-old daughter.

Friends described him as a very good man.

"It's very difficult for me to talk about. Four words would sum up Chad, 'the best of the best,'" Mack Hardwick said. "When somebody dies in this area everybody feels the pain. [When] someone like this dies, everybody really, really feels the pain."

Hardwick has known McClain since they were both boys. The two still knew and interacted with each other on a regular basis.

"We'll need a lot of prayers, the family and all of us," Hardwick said.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the lead investigating agency in the crash. The agency will release its findings no sooner than July 18.

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