by WZTV STAFF
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office identified the plane crash victims as 45-year-old Lt. Col. Shelli Dawn Huether, 38-year-old Captain Jessica Naomi Wright and 53-year-old Senior Master Sgt. Scott Alan Bumpus.
Police responded to the plane crash off old Nashville Highway 70 in McMinnville. Lt. Huether, Captain Wright and Senior Master Sgt. Bumpus were on the plane when authorities say it went into a field near Warren County Memorial Airport on Airport Lake Rd. at 11:40 a.m.
Witnesses told the sheriff’s office the plane stalled and crashed into the ground near the end of the airport runway. However, investigators are still trying to verify that information.
One witness at the scene spoke to FOX 17 News about the chaotic moment he saw the plane go down. Jerry Wiser alerted authorities of the crash.
“I turned the tractor off. As I was walking towards the plane, I called 911. One of the neighbors came down and took my pocket knife and cut the seat belts and was trying to get some of them out,” Wiser said. “The plane was smoking at the time, but it never did catch on fire.”
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the FAA and NTSB. Now in Warren County inspecting the crash, the FAA described the plane as a single-engine Piper PA-28. The aircraft tail number was not immediately released.