Tragedy struck a Florida family on Christmas Eve when five people were killed in a plane crash shortly after taking off from the Bartow Municipal Airport. Four of the victims were from the same family, and the fifth victim was a family friend.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd identified the pilot as 70-year-old John Shannon, an attorney in Lakeland, reports WFLA. The other victims were his daughters, Olivia Shannon, 24; and Victoria Shannon-Worthington, 26. Victoria's husband, Peter Worthington Jr., and family friend Krista Clayton were also killed.
Judd said they arrived at the airport at 6:30 a.m. and planned to spend the rest of the day in Key West. They planned to return to Bartow later Sunday night.
The plane crashed at 7:15 a.m. after trying to take off in heavy fog.
"This is a very sad situation," Judd told WFLA. "It is a tragedy any day of the week. It is an exceptional tragedy on Christmas Eve. Our hearts go out to the family."
"John Shannon has always been a great advocate, a great attorney," Judd told WFLA. "He has always been very involved in the community. People that know John Shannon know that he's a good man. He's a good man with a good heart that gives back to the community."
Olivia Shannon was a student at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Victoria Shannon-Worthington and her husband were visiting from Baltimore, where she was a teacher. The 27-year-old Worthington was a third-year law student. They married in June 2017.
Clayton, 32, was a teacher at the Jewett Academy in Winter Haven.
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