• Passengers' deaths in plane crash at Bartow airport ruled accidental, deputies say

    By: WFTV Web Staff


    POLK COUNTY, Fla. - The deaths of four passengers in a twin-engine plane that crashed at the Bartow Municipal Airport Sunday have been ruled accidental, the Polk County Medical Examiner said.

    They died after a plane crashed at the Bartow Municipal Airport Sunday morning, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

    Five people died when the twin-engine plane crashed at the end of the runway near Ben Durrance Road around 7:20 a.m., officials said. 

    Photos: Several people killed in plane crash at Bartow airport, Polk County deputies say

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation into the deaths, deputies said. 

    Although the Medical Examiner will positively identify the victims, based on interviews with family and friends, and witnesses at the Bartow Airport, the sheriff's office believes the following five adult victims were on board the plane:

    The pilot, 70-year-old John Shannon, a local attorneyof, Lakeland.

    There were four passengers on board the flight with him:

    John Shannon's daughter, 24-year-old Olivia Shannon, a Southeastern University student, of Lakeland.

    John Shannon's daughter, 26-year-old Victoria Shannon Worthington, a Baltimore school teacher, of Baltimore.

    Victoria Shannon Worthington's husband, 27-year-old Peter Worthington, Jr., a third year law student at the University of Maryland, of Baltimore.

    A family friend, 32-year-old Krista Clayton, a local teacher at Jewett Academy, of Lakeland.

    John Shannon filed a flight plan Sunday morning to fly to Key West. His daughter and her husband arrived in town the day before for the holidays from Baltimore, where the couple lived. Clayton joined the family on the trip.

    All of the victims died upon or immediately after impact.

    Shannon's cause and manner of death will be determined pending the results of toxicology reports, the Medical Examiner said.

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