A small, private plane aborted its landing but then hit a 60-foot utility pole and crashed in a flaming wreck, killing five people onboard and injuring two others. The crash occurred at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, a small terminal with a 5,500-foot runway about 30 miles west of Augusta, GA. Onboard the Hawker Beechcraft 390/ Premier I were five staff members of the Vein Guys clinic of vascular medicine specialists, located in Augusta.
Killed in the crash were Dr. Steven Roth, the vascular surgeon at the Augusta clinic, and two of his co-workers, nurse anesthetist Lisa Volpitto and a secretary, Kim Davidson. Two ultrasound technicians were also on the plane, as were two pilots. Investigators were trying to determine the identity of two people killed in the crash. One of the pilots had been identified as one of the survivors and was listed in critical condition. No information has been released about the second survivor.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said fuel leaking from the plane ignited in flames after it hit the concrete pole. The impact was so powerful it sheared off the left wing of the plane. The wreckage of the plane was almost completely destroyed by the fire.
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A spokesperson for the NTSB said the investigation will continue to try to determine the cause of the crash, including interviewing the air-traffic controllers to determine if any distress calls were made by the pilots. The investigators will also for the flight-data recorder from the plane to see if it holds any clues as to what happened.
The airport’s general manager told ABC News that the private jet had been flying fairly frequently from the Thomson airport during the past several months. He said the pilots were very familiar with the area and they kept the plane in “pristine” condition.
Although there has yet to be a determination as to what caused the crash, families of the victims should contact a wrongful death attorney right away.
Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, Thomson, GA
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