Georgia college student was killed instantly when he was struck by the propeller of an airplane he rented for a dinner date, according to the Bulloch County Coroner's Office.
The freak accident occurred Sunday night, Oct. 16, at the Statesboro Bulloch County Airport in Statesboro, Coroner Jake Futch confirmed to McClatchy News.
Victim Walked into the Plane's Propeller
Officials identified the victim as Sani Aliyu, 21, of Atlanta. Georgia Southern University administrators confirmed he was a sophomore management major.
Futch said Aliyu, who was originally from Nigeria, had rented a Cessna plane to fly himself and a young woman to Savannah for a romantic dinner Sunday night. Upon returning to Statesboro, the young woman got out and walked toward the back of the aircraft.
"(Aliyu) got out and walked toward the front," Futch said. "And when he did, the propeller hit him in the head, killing him instantly." The accident occurred while the plane was stationary. No other details about the tragic incident were immediately released.
University Releases Statement
Dr. Aileen C. Dowell, associate vice president and dean of students at Georgia Southern, said she was "saddened" by news of the tragic incident.
"I have already been in touch with his family and professors and we have mobilized all available resources to provide counseling and any other assistance the university can give," Dowell said in a statement. The Bulloch County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, Futch said.
NTSB, FAA Investigation
The Bulloch County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident and collected information but said that details would be turned over the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.
"Nobody is really at fault or anything, it was an accident, so we just have to communicate all of our information with them," said Capt. Todd Hutchens of the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
Kulm, the FAA spokesperson, in an email reply referred to the accident as having occurred "after the plane taxied onto the ramp area."
"The FAA and NTSB will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide all updates," Kulm added.
Earlier this year, a young British tourist was killed in a horrific accident while exiting a helicopter in Greece. Jack Fenton, 22, reportedly walked behind the Bell 407 helicopter while its engine was still on and was struck by the chopper's tail rotor, instantly killing him, as previously reported.