nytimes – Plane crash in Tennessee: 7 are presumed dead, authorities say

All seven people aboard a small plane were presumed dead after crashing shortly after take off in a lake outside of Nashville, Tenn., On Saturday, authorities said.

The plane, a Cessna Citation 501, crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna, Tennessee, around 11 a.m. local time, shortly after taking off from Smyrna Airport, south of Nashville.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that seven people were on board.

Ashley McDonald, spokesperson for the Rutherford County Government in Tennessee, identified those on board as William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters and Brandon Hannah, all of Brentwood. , Tennessee.

At a press conference on Saturday night, Captain Joshua Sanders of Rutherford County Fire Rescue said that after searching the lake since 11 a.m., “we have gone from a rescue effort to a recovery effort.” .

Crews at the scene “were no longer looking for living victims at this point,” said Captain Sanders. “We are now recovering as much as possible from the crash site.”

He said divers who had searched the lake planned to resume their search on Sunday morning.

The plane was heading for Palm Beach International Airport in Florida.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it sent two investigators to the crash site. A preliminary report on the crash is expected in about two weeks, the agency said, and a full report, including the probable cause, could take up to two years.

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