On Sunday afternoon, Ray Pirro, a 52-year-old Fresno man, was killed after crashing a small Cessna airplane that he had stolen into a Fresno canal. Authorities say Pirro was "extraordinarily" high on meth, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The plane crashed on the bank of a canal in Fresno County, close to a residential subdivision filled with homes. While Pirro was killed, no one else was injured in the crash.
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According to KTVU, Pirro had stolen the private plane from Buchanan Field in Concord after climbing over a chain-link fence around the tarmac and hotwiring the engine. Pirro did not have a pilot's license.
"You know, if someone really wants to get into an aiport, they can get on an airport," said Buchanan Field Pilot Fiona McChesney to KTVU.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, toxicology tests showed that Pirro had a methamphetamine concentration of 2,500 nanograms per milliliter of blood. A typical level for a regular user is between 100 and 300 nanograms.
"This indicated that he's a heavy user," said Fresno County Coroner David Hadden to the San Francisco Chronicle. "But he was still too high to fly an airplane, that's for sure." Hadden said that Pirro would likely have been hallucinating.
Pirro had a long history of drug use and was on parole for stealing a car in 2008.
According to the Fresno Bee, the plane crash was not Pirro's first. In 1988, Pirro crashed his own plane when it ran out of fuel near the Tracy airport. Pirro was not injured and left the scene, as he did not have a valid pilot's license at the time.
Watch the KMJ Newsroom video for more on the crash below: