BREAKING NEWS: Winston County man wanted for arson, murder has been captured. Full Story
SEVERE WX: Heat Advisory View Alerts

Four family members killed in Christmas Eve plane crash in Florida

Five people, including four members of one family, were killed when their twin-engine plane crashed during takeoff Su...

Posted: Dec. 26, 2017 10:06 AM
Updated: Dec. 26, 2017 10:06 AM

Five people, including four members of one family, were killed when their twin-engine plane crashed during takeoff Sunday morning at a small airport about 40 miles east of Tampa.

The plane, a Cessna 340, was taking off from Bartow Municipal Airport just after 7 a.m. in a dense fog when it crashed and caught fire, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

There were no survivors and "no chance of survival," he said.

"It is a tragedy any day of the week," Judd said. "It is a worse tragedy on Christmas Eve."

The pilot was identified as 70-year-old John Shannon, an attorney from Lakeland, Florida. Two daughters, a son-in-law and a family friend were also killed, Judd said.

Olivia Shannon, 24, was a student at Southeastern University in Lakeland. Victoria Shannon Worthington, 26, and her husband, Peter Worthington Jr., 27, also were on board.

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

Family friend Krista Clayton, 32, was a teacher in Lakeland and a mother of two, Judd said.

Judd described John Shannon as an active member of the community, serving as president of the local Kiwanis Club and president of The Republican Club of Lakeland.

The group was flying to Key West where they planned to spend the day, Judd said.

An airport employee who was photographing the thick fog captured sound of the crash on video.

After reviewing the video, Judd said no one should have been taking off in that weather.

"You can hear the engine as it revved up and as the plane took off, and there's not one sign of the aircraft that was obviously soaked in a very dense, very heavy fog."

The NTSB and FAA will investigate the cause of the crash, he said. Polk County Fire Rescue was also on the scene.

Twin-engine plane was taking off in dense fog

Police identify pilot as a lawyer from Lakeland, Florida

Related Content

Article Comments

Few Clouds
92° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 101°
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 84°
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 100°
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 85°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather

Latest Video


Sunday show end


A Hot Sunday Afternoon Ahead With A Few More Storms Possible


WTVA Saturday night sportscast


Starkville hosts Splash Vegas Invitational AAU basketball tournament


Dak Prescott hosts football ProCamp in Starkville


John's Saturday Evening Forecast


5am 7/14 full show


Hot & Humid With A An Isolated Rogue Storm To Start Saturday.


july 13 8am full show


7am july 13 full show