Search continues in Va. lake for pilot

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) -- Divers are searching the murky waters of South Holston Lake in southwest Virginia for the pilot of helicopter that crashed just after it had dropped off six passengers.

Pilot Bill Starnes was the only person in the 1996 Bell 407 when it crashed late Friday in 42 feet of water. The chief pilot for the Food City grocery chain was ferrying people to and from races at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

The helicopter is partially owned by Food City's parent company K-VA-T Foods. It crashed in front of a house owned by Steve Smith, Food City's president and CEO.

The Bristol Herald-Courier said Monday the search has been hampered by currents and depths ranging from 20 feet to 80 feet.

The wreckage of the helicopter was found Saturday.


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