Five family members were killed in a tragic plane crash in rural Georgia the afternoon of June 5 while flying from their home in Florida to a funeral in Indiana.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said nobody aboard the Piper PA31-T survived when the aircraft fell from the sky and crashed in a field off of GA Route 44, about six miles north of Eatonton, Georgia, and 100 miles east-southeast of Atlanta.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office identified the victims as Larry Ray Pruitt, 67, the pilot and owner of the airplane; Mr. Pruitt’s daughter, Jody Rae Lamont, 43; her husband, Shawn Charles Lamont, 41; and the Lamonts’ two children, Jayce Lamont, 6, and Alice Lamont, 4. Mr. Pruitt was a resident of Willison, Florida, and the Lamont family lived in Gainesville. The Federal Aviation Administration said they departed from Williston Municipal Airport between Gainesville and Ocala just after 2 p.m. Their destination was New Castle–Henry County Municipal Airport, about 40 miles west of Indianapolis.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be leading an investigation of the plane crash. So far there are few details. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, the twin-engine turboprop airplane encountered a line of thunderstorms as it passed over Putnam County, Georgia, where it crashed just before 3 p.m.
A witness told the Union-Recorder of Milledgeville, Georgia, that he heard a clap of thunder before the crash. He said parts of the plane flew off before it hit the ground with a loud boom.
Investigators have not said whether the storms might have been a factor in the plane crash.
At least two witnesses captured video of the airplane on their smartphones. One video a viewer sent to FOX 5 Atlanta shows the plane appear to be on fire high in the sky. Another video taken closer to the crash site shows the airplane falling from the sky in a spiral motion before hitting the ground shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.
Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews focuses much of his practice on aviation litigation and currently represents families of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 victims involving the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. In addition to his Ethiopian Airlines crash clients, Mike has represented people seriously injured in a variety of aviation crashes, and the families of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes.