• Prominent Lakeland lawyer among dead in plane crash at Bartow airport, deputies say

    By: WFTV Web Staff

    Updated:

    POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Several people 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 am in Bartow, officials said. 

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

    "A Cessna 340 aircraft crashed on departure from Bartow Municipal Airport in Florida at about 8 am today," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. 

    The airport is located just off of U.S. 17 near Spirit Lake Road.

    Read: Body of missing Titusville woman found, police say

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is handling the death investigations, deputies said. 

    Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA have been notified and will investigate the cause of the crash, 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, was a local attorney from Lakeland.

    There were four passengers on board the flight with him:

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

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

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

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

    Shannon filed a flight plan this morning to fly to Key West. His daughter and her husband arrived in town yesterday for the holidays, from Baltimore, where they live. Krista joined the family on the trip.

    All of the victims perished upon or immediately after impact. Autopsies will be conducted later this week to determine their exact causes of death. 
     

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