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BY J. TODD TRUELOVE
The Toccoa Record
A single engine plane crashed Monday afternoon, Jan. 6, on the Morgan County/Jasper County line, killing the pilot.
The plane, a Cessna 172, according to Morgan County Fire and Rescue director Jeff Stone, was piloted by Milwood Ashley Dekle, 72, a Toccoa businessman.
The plane crashed into a heavily wooded area south of Shiloh Road near the Broughton Road area of Morgan County sometime around 2:30 p.m., said chief deputy Keith Howard of the Morgan County Sheriff’’s Office.
Authorities said multiple persons called both Morgan County and Jasper County dispatch to report the incident.
The crash site, according to Stone, is a dense area of trees. Stone said the fire-damaged plane was broken apart and scattered at the site.
Dekle’s body was located near the crash site, Lt. Derrick Roland, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Howard said the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and National Transportation Board (NTSB) were scheduled to conduct an investigation into the crash at the crash site on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Emergency workers from both Morgan County and Jasper County descended on the area, first staging off Shiloh Road and then later of J.T. Hannah Road in Jasper County.
Emergency workers needed four-wheel drive vehicles and walked on foot searching for the plane.
Howard said the search took approximately 30 minutes before they located the destroyed plane.
Authorities also said they located prescription medication matching the owner’s name at the crash site.
The plane, according to the FAA, is registered to Dekle with a Toccoa, Ga. address.
Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley said that he was notified by Jasper County Sheriff Ronnie Pope at 4:25 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6 that a plane crash with only one person aboard had occurred in the county.
Shirley said Pope was requesting assistance to help identify the victim.
“Within an hour, we were able to provide enough information along with items recovered from the scene by Jasper County deputies and first responders that enabled us to positively identify the victim,” Shirley said.
“The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest condolences to his son, Matt, who worked alongside his dad, as well as a daughter who taught school in Habersham County, and his two brothers who lived in Cairo, Georgia,” Shirley said.
Dekle was the longtime operator of an appliance shop located on Swift Street in Toccoa.
According to reports, Dekle flew out of the Toccoa Airport last Monday afternoon leaving about 1:30 p.m.
Editor’s Note: Funeral services for Milwood Ashley Dekle, age 72 of Swift Street, Toccoa, Ga., formerly of Cairo will be held Saturday, Jan. 18 at Pine Level Baptist Church. See a complete obituary on Page A10. The Morgan County Citizen in Madison contributed to this report.