Raymond Romero Pirro, a 52-year-old parolee, had a methamphetamine concentration of 2,500 nanograms per milliliter of blood when he crashed at about 4 p.m. Feb. 7, according to Dr. David Hadden, the Fresno County coroner.
He described Pirro as a “longtime user” — adding that while user-tolerance varies, a typical user’s level would be 100 to 300 nanograms.
“I’d like to say he can’t fly a plane at these levels,” Hadden said. “But I think the better way to say it is that he couldn’t fly for very long at these levels.”
According to police, Pirro allegedly stole a Cessna 172 four-seater plane from Buchanan Field Airport by hot-wiring the engine sometime on the weekend of Feb. 5.
Pirro — who didn’t have a pilot license — later crashed into a canal bank on Barstow Avenue less than a mile west of Fresno.
Hadden said Pirro died of blunt force trauma upon impact.
No one else was injured in the crash.
Keith Freitas, director of airports in Contra Costa County, has said that the airport is working with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate how the plane was taken.
Freitas said the plane’s owner — a Walnut Creek man — traveled to Fresno to identify his plane.