Florida plane crash kills 5, including family members, in the christmas spirit ‘tragedy’

The victims of the Florida plane crash included Victoria Shannon Worthington, 26, and her husband, Peter Worthington, Jr., 27.

Five people were killed, including family members, on Sunday morning after a small plane crashed after takeoff from a Central Florida airport in heavy fog, officials said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release of the twin-engine private plane left around 7:15 pm at the Bartow Municipal Airport, located about 45 km east of Tampa, and eastward in the fog before it crashed.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed five people, including the pilot, aboard the Cessna 340, “died at or immediately after the impact.”

The victims, identified by the sheriff’s office, included: pilot, John Shannon, a 70-year-old local lawyer, and John’s daughter, Olivia Shannon, a 24-year-old student at Southeastern University. Both were of Lakeland, Florida.

Also among the victims were Baltimore residents Victoria Shannon Worthington, a 26-year-old teacher who was also John’s daughter; Victoria’s husband, Peter Worthington, Jr., 27, which was a third year law student at the University of Maryland; and friend of the family, Krista Clayton, of Lakeland, who was a 32-year-old teacher.

Olivia Shannon, right, was killed in the crash.


John Shannon, according to the sheriff’s office, filed a flight plan this morning to fly to Key West.” His daughter, Victoria and her husband, Peter, came to Florida on Saturday to celebrate the holidays.

John Shannon, left, who worked as a lawyer in Florida, had piloted the plane on Sunday crash.


“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shannon, Worthington, and Clayton families. This is a tragedy every time, but it is so much worse, because it happened on the Eve of christmas,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “We offer all of our resources to help them with everything they need to help them through this terrible tragedy.”

“There was a fire after the plane crashed, which was put in by Polk County Fire Rescue personnel,” the sheriff’s office said.

A photo of the scene of the Cessna 340 plane crash on the #BartowAirbase. FAA has arrived, the NTSB is on the way. As soon as we learn more about the victims, we will. Pray for these victims and their families. #BartowPlaneCrash

— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) December 24, 2017

A helicopter pilot with the sheriff’s department in a hanger and heard the plane to take off, according to Judd. He said, “seconds later,” he heard a sound change and the impact on the north end of the airport.

“There was no chance to survive,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending a team to investigate the cause of the crash, and will also be accompanied by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The NTSB investigation into the crash of a Cessna 340, in Bartow, Florida.

— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) December 24, 2017

The Sheriff’s Office said the fog probably contributed to the crash, Fox 13 Tampa reported.

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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