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Pastor's plane provides clues

BRANDON — Autopsies were completed Wednesday in North Carolina on the bodies of Bell Shoals Baptist Church Pastor Forrest Pollock and his son, Preston.

Donald Jason, forensic pathologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said Thursday that both father and son died of multiple internal and external injuries sustained in the crash.

More details also emerged Thursday about the crash.

The plane carrying Pollock, 44, and his 13-year-old son was intact before it hit the ground, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board reported. The Piper Cherokee was found Tuesday southwest of Asheville, N.C., at an elevation of 4,700 feet.

Investigators found the plane's nose, tail and wings in a fairly contained area, safety board spokesman Peter Knudson said, indicating that it did not break up in flight. It took board expert Eliott Simpson and his team four hours on Wednesday to reach the site on the side of Cold Mountain. Authorities worked for two hours before rain forced them back down the mountain.

Those harsh conditions will shorten the three to five days normally allotted for examining a plane crash on site, Knudson said. Authorities will check the propeller and nearby trees for marks on either, pore over flight controls and follow trails of spilled fuel. They also expect to soon recover radar data of the flight.

On Friday or Saturday, the team will try to remove the wreckage by helicopter to Atlanta, where the investigation will be completed.

Jan Wesner can be reached


or (813) 661-2439. Andrew Meacham can be reached at or (813) 661-2431.

Funeral services

Services for Pastor Forrest Pollock and his son, Preston, will be held Saturday at the church at 2102 Bell Shoals Road. Visitation is 9:30 to 11 a.m.; services begin at 11 a.m. Church officials expect thousands to attend, and people are advised to avoid Bell Shoals Road and other streets near the church. The church sanctuary holds 3,450 people. Overflow viewing will be available for about 1,000 more through live video in the smaller chapel next door, and possibly one other site on the church grounds, said Tina Crapps, media director assistant for Bell Shoals. The service will also be shown live on the church's Web site,

Pastor's plane provides clues 05/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008 2:30pm]
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