From what I understand now the engine stumbled early in the take-off when the plane was 12-1500' down the runway and at an altitude of 10' or so. The pilot elected to continue the take-off after the stumble cleared up as there was 3000' feet of runway ahead of him. A bit further and the engine quit completely. He made it over the airport boundary fence and set it down but it slid across the road, down the slight embankment and into the creek.
The 75 year old pilot has back injuries but is said to be in good condition. If it could be said that he should have aborted the take-off earlier (if the reports are accurate) it does appear the he did the right thing in flying it all the way through the crash. Sad deal either way but glad the pilot is OK.
I believe this Arion Lightning was equipped with a Jabiru 3300 engine.