Three people were killed after a plane crashed at LaGrange Callaway Airport on Saturday.
Lt. Chris Taylor of LaGrange Fire Department said two male passengers were dead at the scene when fire and EMS officials arrived. A third male passenger was flown to Columbus Medical Center and died at the hospital.
LaGrange police have identified and released the names of the victims. The three men killed were: Vincent Rossetti, 60, of Peachtree City; Willy Lutz, 69, of Peachtree City; and Jeffery Curtis 53 of Peachtree City.
The 1980 Beech fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft nosedived into the ground about 2:07 p.m., Taylor said, resulting in extensive damage. LaGrange and Troup County firefighters and local officials arrived on the scene immediately after the crash.
The plane was registered to Executive Aircraft Storage LLC of Peachtree City, according to online records.
Taylor said the cause of the crash is still being investigated and the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be on the scene the remainder of the weekend investigating the circumstances of the crash. There was another plane towing a glider on the runway, but officials did not comment on its involvement in the crash.
Several people at the airport said the Beech plane was practicing touch-and-go maneuvers one one runways while the second plane towing a glider was moving down another runway, which intersects. The Beech plane pulled up about 150 to 200 feet, possibly stalled and came straight down, slamming into the ground.
Rusty Miller, a retired Air Force pilot, said he did not see the crash, but he heard its impact, which he likened to the sound of a car crash. He ran up to the scene, but said there was nothing to be done.
According to Miller, the two passengers up front were trapped under the front instrument panel dashboard.
“It was tragic,” he said. “I feel for the families.”
Taylor said the two victims who died on the scene were in the front of the plane while the third passenger was in the rear. The victims’ identities were not released because authorities were still contacting their families Saturday afternoon.
Further information on the incident is expected to be released as the investigation continues.
—News editor Matthew Strother contributed to this report.
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