Victims in Saturday's plane crash identified, 2 were children

UPDATE: A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot of the plane was flying from an airport in Auburn, Ala., to somewhere in Tennessee when it crashed Saturday.

According to the Murray County, Ga., Sheriff's Office, Dexter Lee Gresham filed a flight plan with the McMinn County, Tenn., Airport on June 26, five days before the crash. This was where the owners normally kept the plane, located close to their home in Etowah, Tenn.

A spokesperson for the McMinn County Airport was not sure when specifically the pilot took off last week. The flight plan said they were flying to Mobile, Ala. But a spokesperson for that airport could not immediately find a record of that plane landing or taking off from Mobile.

The plane itself was registered to Mary Jo Yarbrough. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Piper PA-23 Aztec was built in 1966. Yarbrough registered the twin-engine plane in 2013.

Workers for Lycoming, a Williamsport, Pa., company, made the engine.

The NTSB will lead the investigation, with the FAA assisting. Generally, the FAA looks at whether a pilot broke any regulations. The NTSB, meanwhile, determines the cause of a crash.

In this case, the crash occurred near a thunderstorm, which can wreck havoc on a small plane like the Aztec because of the swirls of intense wind.

The NTSB typically releases a preliminary report within 7-10 business days of the plane crash.


ORIGINAL STORY: Murray County Coroner Jason Gibson released the identities of the four people who died in Saturday's plane crash:

  • Dexter Lee Gresham, 55, of Etowah, Tenn.
  • Mary Jo Yarbrough, 61, of Etowah, Tenn.
  • Austin Day, 10, of Corinth, Miss.
  • Kinsley Wilson, 10, of Corinth, Miss

Day and Wilson were Yarbrough's grandchildren, Gibson said.

The crash happened at approximately 4:45 p.m Saturday.

The plane is believed to have disintegrated in the air, and the crash site is located near Piney Hill Road and Old Highway 411.