Tennessee doctor dies in Harlan plane crash, Middlesboro native would return to Kentucky to treat patients

Published 11:59 am Friday, November 4, 2022


A Tennessee doctor who would fly in to see patients in Kentucky died Thursday morning in a plane crash in Harlan County.

David Sanford, MD, of Knoxville, was the only death in the crash near the Harlan airport, according to Harlan County Coroner Philip Bianchi.

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Sanford, 55, was an opthalmologist and would routinely fly into Harlan and Middlesboro to see patients. He was a native of Middlesboro.

According to Sanford’s website, he was a 1985 graduate of Middlesboro High School. He attended LMU and was a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. In practice since 1997, Sanford had offices in Middlesboro, Harlan and Whitesburg.

Sanford was flying a Beechcraft Bonanza when the plane went down about 10 a.m. Thursday just south of the Tucker-Guthrie Memorial Airport, according to the Kentucky State Police.

The National Transportation and Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the accident.