Family killed in twin-engine plane crash in Florida

26 December, 2017, 10:22 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Several people killed in plane crash at Bartow Airbase, Polk County deputies say

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the crash Sunday morning at Bartow Municipal Airport immediately killed the 70-year-old pilot and four adult passengers.

Local officials said first responders were dispatched to the scene within minutes but had to move slowly because of the dense fog.

The Cessna aircraft took off despite thick fog that had settled over the airport shortly before sunrise and had limited visibility to less than one-fifth of a mile.

Victoria Shannon and Peter Worthington were married in June at Baltimore's George Peabody Library, according to a wedding announcement. Shannon was also active in the community in Kiwanis, as the president of the Republican Club of Lakeland and as a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church. Victoria's husband, Peter Worthington, 27, and a family friend, Krista Clayton, 32, were also killed.

"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. Victoria was a school teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, and Peter was a law student at the University of Maryland, Judd said. Clayton, a middle school teacher, had a husband and two children - a 3-year-old girl and an 18-month-old. People that know John Shannon know that he's a good man.

John Shannon was still practicing law, and had also embraced two other passions: politics and planes.

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"I have reviewed some footage, and clearly no one should have tried to a takeoff from this airport at 7:15 this morning", Judd said during a press conference this morning. "Krista joined the family on the trip", the news release said.

Olivia Shannon, 24, was John Shannon's daughter.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The charred remains of a Cessna 340 twin-engine aircraft sat north of a runway December 24, 2017, at Bartow (Fla.) Municipal Airport.

"For unknown reasons, but likely related to the fog, it crashed shortly after takeoff", said Judd, adding that "everyone on board perished".

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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