A renowned Kentucky neurosurgeon and part-time Kiawah Island resident died Saturday after his single-propeller plane crashed as he and his wife flew home to Louisville.

Dr. Henry David Garretson, 78, was the retired chairman of the neurosurgery department at the University of Louisville. His wife, Marianna Garretson, 70, also died in the Kentucky crash.

The couple's route was from Charleston Executive Airport, with a fuel stop at Clark County Regional Airport in Indiana, and then home to Louisville.

Nelson County Coroner Rayfield Houghlin said the crash happened on a farm on Highway 1066. One of the wings came off the Cessna 210, he said.

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

The Garretsons were pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. Sunil Patel, clinical chair of the department of neurosciences at Medical University of South Carolina, knew Garretson, who occasionally visited MUSC when he stayed at Kiawah Island. Garretson retired in 1997, Patel said.

Pam Harrington was a neighbor of the Garretsons on Surfsong Road on Kiawah. "He was one of the nicest people you'd want to meet; very intelligent, very caring," she said.