Posted to WIDK by Jenn Flanagan
(Daily Mail) – A man who was ‘extraordinarily’ high on methamphetamine died after steering a stolen plane into the ground in Fresno, California.
The remains of Ray Pirro, 52, were identified by police when they found the destroyed upside-down single-engine plane that had been stolen from a small airport called Buchanan Field.
Police said that because of the staggeringly-large concentration of meth in his system, it is likely that he was hallucinating at the time of the crash.
His autopsy revealed that he had a concentration of 2.500 nanograms of meth per millimetre of blood. Authorities say that 300 nanograms per millimetre is toxic, meaning that Pirro was over eight times that limit.
‘This shows chronic, long-term use,’ Dr. David Hadden, the Fresno county coroner, told the Contra Costa Times.
‘This indicates that’s he’s a heavy user; we feel that this guy has been using for a long time,’ he told The San Francisco Chronicle.
‘But he was still too high to fly an airplane, that’s for sure.
‘You can’t rely on consistent behaviour at that point.’
Not helping matters was the fact that Pirro was not a licensed pilot.
That hasn’t stopped him from flying in the past, though still unsuccessfully: according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Pirro bought a similar Cessna plane in 1988 but crashed it just 17 days after he bought it.
He stole the plane that he crashed on Thursday from Buchanan Field, and the plane’s owner, Felix Boston, wasn’t notified until after it crashed on February 5.
When they arrived at the scene, investigators found ‘Pop-Tarts, energy drinks, chips and Cheez Whiz’ inside the cockpit.
Like it was not his first airplane crash, this was also not Pirro’s first theft of a vehicle.
He went to prison in both 2003 and 2008 for stealing cars.