Officials still working to notify families

By WALB News Team

AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) – A plane crash happened in Sumter County Wednesday, according to officials.

It’s believed two men were killed in the crash, according to Pete Smith, Sumter County sheriff.

Smith said the identities will not be released until the agencies involved have finished their investigation.

“At this point, we have no positive identification on the victims of the plane crash here in Sumter County,” Greg Hancock, Sumter County coroner, said. “We’re waiting for some test results by the state medical examiner’s office to give us a positive identification before we release any names.”

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is wrapping up their on-site investigation Thursday. WALB was told any updates from NTSB will not released until about two weeks.

The crash:

The crash happened in a pecan orchard about a mile north of the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

FAA officials said the crash happened at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The aircraft had just departed when the crash happened, according to the FAA.

The pecan orchard is in the 300 block of Old Andersonville Road.

The aircraft, a Cirrus SR22, just departed from an airport when the crash happened, FAA officials said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrived on the scene Wednesday afternoon. The GBI used a drone to map the crash scene.

FAA officials and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office were also on the scene.

The crash was discovered by workers in the pecan orchard.

The plane that crashed appears to be a small engine plane capable of only carrying two people, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials also said no one heard the crash and they are not sure if the plane was leaving, coming in or just going through.

“This point we’re still working with all those agencies that I mentioned in trying to identify the victims and and properly notify the families. We have not done such at this point because we’re working with those agencies to properly identify the plane and the plane occupants,” Col. Eric Bryant, with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, said during Wednesday’s press conference.

Some of those agencies include GBI and FAA.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is working with agencies involved to identify victims and properly notify families. The sheriff’s office is also working with agencies to properly identify the plane.

The sheriff’s office said there are several pilots in the Sumter County area. They also said families are concerned.

Officials said there was a great amount of wreckage. Because of the amount of wreckage, a direct cause has not been determined.

The debris field is about the size of a football field, officials said.

https://www.walb.com/2019/07/24/sheriff-plane-crash-reported-sumter-co/