Florida plane crash in dense fog kills five on Christmas Eve

26 December, 2017, 10:25 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • 'Several deaths' in plane crash near Tampa, officials say

Judd said a pilot with the Polk County Sheriff's Office who was at the airport at the time of the crash told him that conditions were unsafe for small aircraft.

The 70-year-old pilot was a prominent lawyer in Lakeland. They were identified as: 24-year-old Southeastern University student Olivia Shannon, 26-year-old Baltimore teacher Victoria Shannon Worthington, 27-year-old University of Maryland law student Peter Worthington Jr. and 32-year-old Lakeland teacher Krista Clayton. The fog was so thick that the plane could not be seen in the video, he said. The crash occurred at the end of the runway after it attempted to take off in heavy fog, though an official cause has not yet been determined. Both graduated from Clemson University, and Victoria Shannon earned a master's in education from Johns Hopkins University.

Victoria's husband Peter also flew in from Baltimore on Saturday, according to Sheriff Judd. "This is a tragedy any time, but it is so much worse because it happened on Christmas Eve", Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement about the crash. But Judd said it appeared that fog could have been a factor in the accident. People that know John Shannon know that he's a good man. Clayton, a middle school teacher, had a husband and two children - a 3-year-old girl and an 18-month-old.

John Shannon was still practicing law, and had also embraced two other passions: politics and planes. The Republican ran for state representative in 2014, but lost in the primary to Colleen Burton, who still holds the office. The plane took off 7:15 a.m. from the Bartow Municipal Airport and went east into the fog before the crash. "Krista joined the family on the trip", the news release said.

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It was supposed to be a 45-minute to an hour-long flight to the Keys, Judd said. But he added that the weather was foggy "and not conducive for taking off".

In Florida, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating Sunday's plane crash.

After the war, the complex functioned as a "flight school training cadets for military service" before it was turned over to the city of Bartow, the website says.


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