Crop duster plane carrying pesticides crashes into Mercer County creek

MERCER COUNTY — A crop duster plane pilot suffered minor injuries after crash into Beaver Creek near Grand Lake St. Marys early Thursday morning, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The crash happened around 8 a.m.

Mercer County was under a Dense Fog Advisory at the time of the crash, with visibility reported around a quarter-mile or less, according to the National Weather Service.

Mark Gaerte had taken off from the Lakefield Airport before crashing the plane into Beaver Creek near the intersection of Guadalupe and Cassella-Montezuma roads, the state patrol said. He was the only person on the plane.

The aircraft was carrying pesticides at the time of the crash, so investigators were working to determine if any chemicals leaked into the creek, troopers said.

Gaerte was taken to Mercer Health in Coldwater for treatment of minor injuries.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources was asked to respond to the scene, according to investigators.

The plane was partially submerged in the water after the crash.