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In the 1920s and 1930s, if you lived in Franklin County, most likely you were in involved in the county’s biggest industry — making illegal whiskey or moonshine.

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Recently, a group of twelve local runners took on the challenge of participating in the Blue Ridge Relay. A grueling, two hundred plus mile relay spanning two days, mountainous terrain,…

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Two dead as plane goes down at Virginia International Raceway; victims identified (UPDATE)

SoVaNow.com / September 19, 2014
Virginia State Police have confirmed the identities of two persons who died Friday in a plane crash at Virginia International Raceway in Alton. The dead are Jon Couch, 46, the pilot, and his mother, Frances G. Couch, 72, the plane's passenger. Both hailed from Annapolis, Md.

Roadracing World Magazine (http://www.roadracingworld.com) identified Couch as owner and driver for TOBC Racing, which is headquartered in Jonesville, N.C. He was a licensed driver on the AMA Pro motorbike circuit; VIR is hosting a motorbike racing event this weekend.

According to eyewitnesses, Couch's high-performance biplane buzzed the VIR registration center while doing barrel rolls at a relatively low altitude just before the aircraft plowed into the midfield of the Patriot Course, setting off flames and smoke.

The plane was a World War II T28 single-engine craft that had been flying low over a field just prior to the crash, said Corinne Geller, Virginia State Police spokesperson, citing eyewitness accounts of the incident.

Troopers were called to the scene at 5:16 p.m. Friday, shortly after the crash took place. No one on the ground was injured.

The plane went down in a kudzu-covered portion of infield at the VIR Patriot Course, the shortest of the track's layouts. From a distance, rescue and police vehicles could be spotted in the vicinity of the crash, along with heavy equipment. The impact ripped a path through the heavily-vegetated landscape.

The identities of the deceased have not been released, pending notification of next of kin.

The FAA and NTSB have been notified. The investigation remains ongoing.

The story will be updated.

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