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Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – An executive an Oklahoma gypsum company was killed Thursday when the company plane he was flying crashed in eastern Mississippi.

Noxubee County Sheriff Terry Grassaree says E.R. “Tracy” Shirley III of Newcastle, Okla., died in the crash. He was vice president and chief financial officer for Harrison Gypsum Co. of Norman.

Authorities say the plane crashed just before 5 p.m. in the Mashulaville community, about 15 miles southwest of Macon, Miss.

Witnesses say the crash area had high winds and lightning.

Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, says air traffic controllers in Memphis, Tenn., lost contact with a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza BE36 Thursday afternoon.

The plane had departed from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Clearwater, Fla., with a stated destination of University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman, Okla.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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