5 dead after twin-engine plane crashes at Florida airport
26 December, 2017, 10:22 | Author: Hannah Francis
Polk County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Tina Mann said in a statement that a total of four fatalities had been confirmed in the crash Sunday morning at Bartow Municipal Airport.
Victoria Shannon-Worthington was the 26-year-old daughter of John Shannon. They also say, along with them was the pilot's other daughter, 24-year-old Olivia Shannon, a Southern University student, and a family friend, 32-year-old Krista Clayton.
The Worthingtons had arrived in Florida on Saturday for the Christmas holiday, Sheriff's office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said.
Victoria was a school teacher, while her husband was a third year law student at the University of Maryland. They were married in June, and her father's Facebook profile photo shows him with his daughters at her wedding.
She was from Lakeland and was a teacher at the Jewett Academy. He ran for Florida state representative in 2014 as a Republican and lost in a primary election by fewer than 175 votes. "Krista joined the family on the trip", the news release said. A sheriff's deputy who responded to a 911 call found the wreckage in flames in a grass field.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash. She was also the mother of an 18-month-old and 3-year-old, Sheriff Judd said. The sheriff - at times becoming emotional while speaking of his friend - said he was told Shannon brought cookies for the Bartow airport staff. "What I was understanding was that visibility was pretty much zero". She noted that pilots who fly in those conditions must be experienced because they have to use a plane's instruments, as opposed to looking outside, to determine speed, altitude and direction.
John Shannon, 70, of Lakeland, Fla., was piloting a twin-engine Cessna 340 that went down just after takeoff around 7:15 a.m. ET Sunday from Bartow Municipal Airport about 50 miles southwest of Orlando, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
While the cause of the incident is under investigation, "it was very foggy at the time", the sheriff's office said, adding that a fire followed the crash.
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