Family members killed in small plane crash in Florida


Five people were killed in a small plane crash after departing from a Central Florida airport in heavy fog on Sunday morning.

At around 7:15 a.m at the Bartow Municipal Airport east of Tampa, the twin-engine private plane took off eastward into the fog before it crashed, according to a news release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Five people on board the Cessna 340, including the pilot, “perished upon or immediately after impact,” according to authorities.

The victims identified included: pilot John Shannon, a 70-year-old local attorney from Lakeland, John’s daughter, Olivia Shannon, who was a 24-year-old student at Southeastern University, Baltimore residents Victoria Shannon Worthington, a 26-year-old school teacher who was also John’s daughter; Victoria’s husband, Peter Worthington Jr., 27, who was a third year law student at the University of Maryland; and family friend Krista Clayton, of Lakeland, who was a 32-year-old teacher.

John Shannon filed a flight plan to fly to Key West to celebrate the holidays with his daughter, Victoria, and her husband, Peter.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shannon, Worthington, and Clayton families. 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. “We are providing all of our resources to assist them with anything they need to help them get through this horrific tragedy. There was a fire after the plane crashed, which was put out by Polk County Fire Rescue personnel. There was no chance of survival.”

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