Baltimore Couple Among Five Killed In Florida Plane Crash

Officials said they believe fog was a factor in the crash.

Authorities say in a tweet that the private plane pulled out of the hangar at around 6:30 a.m., took off at about 7:15 a.m. and headed east into heavy fog.

The FAA said in a statement that four people were on board the Cessna 340 plane when it crashed Sunday morning.

"This is a horrific tragedy, especially on Christmas Eve, and the victims are their families are in our prayers", Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Shannon's two daughters Olivia, 24, and Victoria, 26, both died, as well as Victoria's husband Peter Worthington and their 32-year-old family friend Krista Clayton.

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Authorities searched the residence and did not find anyone inside, officials said, and the fire has been put out. The occupants of the house were not home, but neighbors said their small dog died.

The sheriff's office identified the pilot as Lakeland attorney John Shannon. Polk County Fire Rescue is also on the scene.

Victoria was a school teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, and Peter was a law student at the University of Maryland, Judd said.

The plane that crashed was a twin-engine plane, police said in a tweet. This is a tragedy any time, but it is so much worse because it happened on Christmas Eve.

No further information was immediately released.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash.

  • Sonia Alvarado