Sani Aliyu Georgia State University College student killed by plane propeller while on date after alighting aircraft in tragic accident. Pilot cleared in any wrong-doing.
Sani Aliyu, 21, a sophomore at Georgia Southern University majoring in management, rented a single-engine Cessna to transport himself and an unnamed young lady to Savannah for a romantic dinner date. The pair, along with two pilots Aliyu reportedly knew, flew in the four-seater plane from Statesboro, Georgia — where GSU is located — to Savannah, about 60 miles away.
The plane landed in Savannah without incident. However, tragedy struck when they landed back at Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport at approximately 10:45 p.m, Sunday evening. Aliyu’s date alighted from the plane and headed toward the rear. Unfortunately, Aliyu himself did not follow suit. He headed toward the front of the plane and was struck in the head twice by the plane’s propeller, 11Alive reported.
Bulloch County coroner Jake Futch stated that Aliyu died ‘instantly.’
Capt. Todd Hutchens of the Bulloch County sheriff’s office added that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will continue to conduct an investigation. However, he concluded that Aliyu’s death appears to be a tragic accident.
College student hailed from Nigeria
‘Nobody is really at fault or anything. It was an accident, so we just have to communicate all of our information with [those agencies],’ Hutchens said according to the Statesboro Herald.
Hutchens did confirm that the plane was stationary when Aliyu was struck. The pilot flying the plane had reportedly taxied the Cessna to a ramp before any passengers had deplaned.
The GSU community is now grieving over the loss the Macon Telegraph reported.
‘We were deeply saddened to hear about the tragic incident that involved one of our students Sunday night,’ said a statement from Dr. Aileen C. Dowell, the GSU associate vice president and dean of students. ‘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.’
Aliyu originally hailed from Nigeria, but was said to be from Atlanta. It is unclear whether Aliyu had any family members living in the U.S.
Statesboro is about 55 miles northwest of Savannah.