Small plane crash kills four people
A small plane carrying four people crashed Friday afternoon near the Georgia and South Carolina state line.
The plane departed from Warsaw and the passengers were on their way to Clemson, South Carolina for the Notre Dame and Clemson game on Saturday.
The plane crashed about a mile away from the destination, which was near Clemson University's football stadium.
The plane left Warsaw Municipal Airport at 11:59 a.m. and was scheduled to land at 3:17 p.m. at the Oconee Regional Airport. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Piper PA-32 aircraft at about 3:30 p.m.
A former Warsaw city official confirmed that the plane belonged to Warsaw councilman Charlie Smith. Smith, his son Scott Smith, former Tippecanoe Valley High School football coach Scott Bibler, and Sprint car driver Tony Elliott were all killed in the crash.
The crash site was on the banks of Lake Hartwell in Oconee County, South Carolina.
"We searched by land. We searched by water with boats and sonar. And we searched by air with the helicopter from the Oconee County Sheriff's office. Our crews were able to locate the plane. There was a debris field that stretched from the Georgia side, across the lake, with the main parts of the plane found in Oconee County South Carolina," said Adam Williams, Deputy Chief of Oconee County Emergency Services.
Oconee Regional Airport confirmed that a distress call was made from someone on the plane. Witnesses on both the Georgia and South Carolina side of that lake saw the plane in distress and called 911 also.
"Multiple 9-1-1 callers called in to report seeing a plane go down, but they did not see where it actually crashed," Williams added.
The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.