Victim identified in fatal gyroplane crash

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BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Kansas Highway Patrol has released the name of a man killed last night when the gyroplane he was piloting crashed in rural Butler County.

KHP crash logs show James Toevs, 61, of Whitewater, was seen making a steep climb, then pitched before crashing down in a field just before 7 p.m. about 4 miles northeast of Whitewater. 

Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said loud noises outside a witnesses home prompted the man to go outside.

"He heard the sound of thunder and then thought he heard the impact," Herzet said. "He said he came out and started looking around and seen smoke and fire coming from northeast of his home. He said he ran out and there wasn't anything he could do, that the plane was on fire."

Herzet said Toevs, who lived nearby, died doing what he loved to do -- flying his plane. 

Harvey County emergency and medical crews also worked this incident.