PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Authorities have released the name of the pilot who was killed when he crashed his small plane into the backyard of a Portage County home on Sunday.
Investigators say 60-year-old Stephen Paulus, of Rootstown, died when his single-engine airplane crashed into the back deck of a home on Nicodermus Road in Shalersville Township after taking off from Portage County Regional Airport.
Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said the family discovered the crashed plane in their backyard around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
"It's believed that the pilot took off from the Portage County airport," says Sgt. Louive. "He was just flying around enjoying the day, and may have been back en route to the airport."
Officials believe that because of the debris field, the plane crashed straight down and did not hit ground at an angle.
"From the debris we saw back there, it doesn't appear it was coming from any angle. It appears that it just dropped straight down," said Sgt. Louive.
Local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FAA and NTSB, are continuing the investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crash.
The Portage County Coroner is expected to perform an autopsy on the pilot Monday to determine the official cause of death.