Victims of Monday afternoon plane crash in Bradley County identified

A small airplane crashed near U.S. Highway 64 near the Bradley-Polk county line Monday evening. / Getty Images/Motortion

Note: This story was updated Sept. 6 to identify the names of the victims and to add that federal officials had arrived to begin their investigation into the crash.

The Bradley County medical examiner on Tuesday afternoon announced the identities of the victims from Monday afternoon's plane crash near the Bradley/Polk county line.

They were identified as William Edward Gist, the pilot, and Beth Ann Gist, according to a release from Bradley County EMA. Both were from Black Mountain, North Carolina.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene Tuesday to begin their investigation into the cause of the crash, the release said. No timetable has been set for completion of that investigation.

Bradley County EMS announced the plane crash and the deaths of the only people on board in a separate press release late Monday.

Polk County dispatchers reported the Chattanooga Airport was tracking a four-seat airplane and lost radar contact with it, Polk County Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Lofty said in a phone interview.

At 5:13 p.m., the initial report of a plane crash in southeast Bradley County was called into the Bradley County 911 Center, Monday's release said. Bradley County Fire Rescue, Bradley County EMS, the Bradley County Sheriff's Office and Bradley County EMA immediately responded to the scene.

After a brief search, the crash site was located in a heavily wooded area on Linden Drive near Waterlevel Highway near the Polk County line.

"There were numerous calls from the area. One was, 'We can see smoke,'" Lofty said. Emergency officials were able to find the crash site quickly thanks to callers, he said.

Debris from a single-engine prop plane was discovered across several hundred yards, and it appeared two people had been on board, the release said.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.