By WRCB Staff


The survivor of a plane crash in North Georgia, is in critical condition.

The Cessna crashed in South Murray County Friday Night.

Three people were on board.
Two of them died in the crash.

Shawn Thacker of England survived, at last check, he was in critical condition at Erlanger Medical Center.

We're told the plane was flying from Florida to Chattanooga, but, just before the crash the pilot changed his plan to land in Dalton.



MURRAY COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Authorities have still not released the names of the two people killed in Friday's plane crash, or a third person on board.

A spokesperson for the FAA told our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press the plane reported engine failure before it crashed and engine trouble could be related to fuel or mechanical issues.

Eyewitnesses told Channel 3 Friday the plane made a sputtering sound and circled before it crashed.

Stay with Eyewitness News as the NTSB and FAA continue their investigation.


MURRAY COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Federal investigators continue to look for answers after a fatal plane crash in Murray County.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site Saturday.

The crash happened Friday night around 10:45 pm. The plane went down in rural south Murray County, GA. Two of the three people on board were killed.

"I can't describe the noise of the plane.  It was really scary," said Barbie Cochran who was playing hide-and-seek with her daughters when the plane crashed.

"It come through my son's yard and hit the trees," said Barbie, "it was making a funny sound."

The four-seater Cessna SkyHawk was registered to a flight training facility in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

It was scheduled to land in Chattanooga. Plane data online shows the plane dropped 850 feet per minute before crashing.

"The craft came down quickly.  It made a circle and then crashed into the ground in front of the driveway," says Murray County Sheriff Howard Ensley.

Barbie Cochran had a family member call 911, then she and her husband ran to help the crash victims.

"Two of them was hanging out.  One was on the ground and the other hanging out hollering, 'Help me!'" said Junior Cochran. "And the girl was laying flat on her back with her legs broke, twisted up in the seat, and she was wanting us to help her, too.  And then I said, 'Hold on, help's on the way!' And then I went around and checked the pilot and he was alive.  They all three was alive."

When emergency crews arrived, the woman and one of the men had succumbed to their injuries.

"I felt bad for the girl," said Barbie. "I couldn't help her."

The second male was freed and rushed to a waiting Life Force helicopter and taken to Erlanger.

Deputies secured the wreckage until federal investigators arrived Saturday to begin their investigation.

Eyewitness News contacted Flight Training Express LLC in Florida about the crash. An employee who answered the phone referred us to the NTSB for further details on the victims.

The names of the three people on board have not been released.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th 11:30 pm

MURRAY COUNTY, GA (WRCB) – The Murray County Sheriff tells Eyewitness News two people have died in a plane crash in the southern part of the county.

The small plane crashed around 10:45 p.m. Friday off Center Hill Church Road, near Highway 225 in Murray County.

Sheriff Howard Ensley says a third victim has been flown by Life Force to Erlanger Medical Center.

The Sheriff says residents in the immediate area of the crash have been evacuated and will not be allowed back into their homes until sometime Saturday.

The first person on the scene of the crash says he spoke to all three victims after the crash. He says they were all in very serious condition and one was pinned inside the plane with serious injuries to his legs.

"I tried to cut their seat belts, but I didn't have my knife with me," the witness tells Eyewitness News.

The victims told the witness they were from Kissimmee, Florida, headed to the area to visit.

The witness tells Eyewitness News there were two men and a woman on board the plane.  The witness says it "looked like the plane ran out of gas".

According to the fight plan, the flight took off from Massey Ranch Airpark in Florida, destined for Lovell Field in Chattanooga. 

The plane is registered to Flight Training Express, LLC in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Sheriff Ensley says the NTSB and the FAA are both en route from Atlanta to the scene at this time.