Monday, July 3, 2017

61-year-old Mary Jo Yarbrough, 55 year-old Dexter Lee Gresham, 10-year-old Austin Day and 10-year-old Kinsley Wilson died after a Piper PA-23-250 Aztec plane experienced an inflight breakup and subsequent impact with terrain in a thunderstorm activity area over Ramhurst, south-southeast of Chatsworth, Georgia.

Victims identified in Saturday's deadly plane crash in Murray County


Monday, July 3rd 2017

NTSB investigators plan to spend Monday on the crash site looking for more debris. (Image: WTVC)

MURRAY COUNTY, Ga. — The Murray County coroner has identified the four people who were killed in a plane crash on Saturday afternoon near Piney Hill Road.

There are two adults and two children.

The adults are 61-year-old Mary Jo Yarbrough and 55 year-old Dexter Lee Gresham. Both are from Etowah, TN a husband and wife.

The children are 10-year-old Austin Day and 10-year-old Kinsley Wilson. They are siblings, and grandchildren to Mary Jo Yarbrough.

Authorities with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plan to spend Monday combing the area for more debris. An engine and a 5th seat still has not been located.

Reporter Brandon Evans was live on Good Morning Chattanooga from the scene Monday morning. (Note: this live shot took place before the victims were identified).


The Sheriff's office says Saturday afternoon's heavy rains may have played a role in the crash, but investigators still haven't ruled on an official cause.

This is a developing story. Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you more details as we get them.

CHATSWORTH, Ga. — UPDATE: The Murray County Coroner has identified the victims.


Murray County Sheriff Gary Langford says a small plane crashed in Chatsworth, killing 4 passengers.

According to the sheriff, the plane was a twin engine out of Tennessee and it came down near Piney Hill Road.

Deputies arrived around 5:30 pm.

The Sheriff's Office contacted the Federal Aviation Administration.

Langford says there was heavy rain in the area before the crash.

This is a developing story. Depend on us to keep you updated as we learn more.



UPDATE: The Murray County coroner’s office has released the name of the four people who died in a plane crash Saturday evening as:
Dexter Lee Gresham 55 years old, of Etowah, TN.
Mary Jo Yarbrough 61 years old, of Etowah, TN.
Two children aboard the aircraft were brother and sister Austin Day, 10 and Kinsley Wilson, also 10. The two children were Yarbrough’s grandchildren and were from Corinth, MS.

PREVIOUS STORY: NTSB and FAA officials are continuing their investigation into a deadly plane crash in Murray County.

Sunday, officials looked at debris that was scattered around homes and in fields.

"It was so loud and it didn't sound like a normal plane," said Jessica Smith, who says she witnessed the crash, "It did sound like something was wrong." It was that loud sound that prompted Smith to walk out her front door, and when she did she saw something she'll never forget.

"It went BOOM! And literally, stuff flew everywhere!" Smith recalled looking at the sky.

Investigators said a twin-engine Piper PA 23 "broke up" mid-air.

The plane seats 5 people. Four people died in the crash, their identities are not being released right now. Investigators say there could be another person.

Clothes, pieces of the plane, and debris were scattered across the area of Piney Hills Drive and neighboring streets.

One engine from the plane is still missing.

"The owner of the plane, his flight log, was in the backyard," said Smith.

NTSB investigators said they will use that flight log to learn more about the pilot and maintenance history of the plane.

As Smith discovered items around her home she said she's overwhelmed with sadness.

NTSB officials said the investigation will continue for a few days.

If anyone finds debris they believe is from the crash in their yard, they are asked NOT to touch it and to immediately call the Murray County Sheriff's Office.

PREVIOUS STORY: NTSB and FAA officials are investigating a deadly plane crash in Murray County, Georgia.

Murray County Sheriff Gary Langford said four people died in the crash that happened on Piney Hills Road at 4:44 p.m.

Langford told Channel 3 it was a twin engine Piper PA-23 that went down.

Officials said the victims are from Tennessee. Right now, it's unclear which airport the plane was coming from and where the four people were heading to on Saturday.

At the time of the crash, Langford said the conditions included heavy rain, strong wind, and lightning.

"Most of the people are telling us that the plane did come apart in mid-air and from what we've found at the scene, that's evidently what had happened," Sheriff Gary Langford of the Murray County Sheriff's Office said.

He said the wings and engine were separated from the plane. The cockpit was the only part of the plane still intact.

Langford said this is the second crash he's responded to in his time as sheriff. He said the debris from the crash spans a five mile radius.

"We've got a debris field. We've got some from south of this area where we're at now. We've got some from the east of it. Some from the north of it. The debris area is pretty big," Sheriff Langford said.

Right now, investigators are not releasing the identities of the victims.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Murray County Sheriff confirms to Channel 3 there has been a plane crash in Ramhurst.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that a Piper PA-23 went down at 4:44 p.m.

It happened off of Old 411 South near Piney Hill Road. It's unclear if anyone was hurt.

The FAA said they will investigate and the NTSB will determine the cause of the crash.


Type:Silhouette image of generic PA27 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
Registration: N44HJ
C/n / msn: 27-3303
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Murray County, Ramhurst, SSE of Chatsworth, GA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
The aircraft experienced an inflight breakup and subsequent impact with terrain in a thunderstorm activity area over Ramhurst, south-southeast of Chatsworth, Georgia. The aircraft was destroyed and the four occupants onboard were fatally injured.