Family of 4 Killed in Christmas Eve Plane Crash

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.”

According to WFLA, Judd said he was friends with Shannon, who was an active member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church and president of the Republican Club of Lakeland.

“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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