Authorities identify pilot killed in Forsyth County plane crash

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Photo courtsey: Julie Major Hayes

Authorities have identified a man who was killed in a single-engine plane crash in Forsyth County Saturday evening. 

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, the pilot flying the aircraft, 28-year-old Ernesto Antonio Arteaga-Membreno, was killed by the impact of the crash. Arteaga-Membreno was an instructor at the flight school of Gwinnett. 

The small plane crashed along Highway 369 at Browns Bridge Road near Waldrip Circle, according to Forsyth County Sheriff spokesperson Doug Rainwater. The plane came down on the road at 5:15 pm on Saturday in a ditch on Browns Bridge Road and traffic was stopped in the area.

Authorities said the plane clipped utility wires, and a wing separated. The plane did not catch fire but the impact was heavy.

Two people on board were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Litsu Chen, 30, of Lawrenceville, is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, and Shen Yang Wu, 25, has already been released from the hospital. 

FOX 5 spoke with pilots at the Gwinnett County airport who said this is a huge loss to their community. 

"It's terrible, it's heartbreaking, and it's very close to home," said flight instructor and President of the AeroVentures Flight Club at Gwinnett County Airport John Post. "It just takes your breath away and it's like a knee in the stomach. Just sad."

Karl Lenker has been flying for more than 50 years and said these deadly crashes are always hard to hear about. "It is a tight-knit family, and you do know everybody well. I've lost lots of friends over the last several years or decades, some I knew well and some I didn't, but you always feel the loss and always feel terrible for the families involved."

A car was hit by the plane, but no one in the car was hurt. 

NTSB is handling the investigation and will visit the crash site Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning to look for more information.