The man who was killed was active in West Paris town affairs.

GREENVILLE (AP) – A West Paris man was killed and two others were severely injured Sunday when a small float plane crashed and burst into flames in woods several miles east of Moosehead Lake.

Vernon Inman, 77, was killed in the crash, while Harlan Abbott, 67, and William Aridas, in his 60s, were taken to Boston hospitals, said spokesman Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department. Both men are from West Paris.

“Both of them have severe burns covering most of their bodies,” McCausland said.

The pilot, Richard Dill, 32, of Greenville sustained burns on his hands and arms when he pulled Abbott and Aridas from the plane, McCausland said. He was taken to Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

Inman was a local historian, active in the annual soapbox derby and the West Paris Historical Society. He once said he’d spent his whole life “except for service and college” living in town. He also served as a town selectman.

His wife of almost 56 years, Miriam, died in April. The couple had five children.

McCausland said the three passengers were part of a group of six men from West Paris who were flown to a camp on Horseshoe Pond on Friday for a fishing excursion arranged by Folsom’s Flying Service in Greenville.

On Sunday, three of the men, including Inman’s son, were flown back to Greenville, where they waited for the others to be flown out.

Abbott currently is a West Paris selectman. Aridas is Inman’s son-in-law.

McCausland said the plane, a single-engine Cessna 206, clipped some trees and crashed into the base of Elephant Mountain in an unorganized territory called Bowdoin College Grant West.

After the crash, Abbott and Aridas were first flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Abbott was then transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and Aridas was taken to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, McCausland said.

McCausland said a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived in Greenville on Sunday, and that an inspector from the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to arrive Monday.

“The pilot told a trooper that the engine stalled,” McCausland said.

Inman, Abbot and Aridas were part of a party of West Paris men in the area for a weekend fishing trip. The others were Walter Inman of West Paris, Bryant Pond’s postmaster, and Randall Jones, 40, and his son Matthew Jones, 9, also of West Paris, according to a family member.

The fishing party had arrived Friday and was flown into the pond for fishing.

On Sunday the two Joneses and Walter Inman were on the first flight out of the pond. The plane crashed on a second trip to the pond to retrieve Vernon Inman and the other two men.



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