Local Radio Personality and Young Passenger Killed in Plane Crash

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

Radio Personality Russ Ragan died Thursday in a plane crash that claimed two lives. His single-engine Cessna plane went down just across the Alabama state line in Northwest Florida.

Shortly before noon witnesses say they saw the Cessna plane struggling to stay in the sky.

That’s when it went down nose first into what was once a pond.

The pilot, Russ Ragan died on the scene. His 7-year-old passenger died after being transported to an area hospital.

Russ worked for WTVY’s 95.5 doing the 'Ragan Report' every morning, highlighting the latest in agriculture news.

Emergency personnel from Jackson and Houston County responded to the scene, off of Florida Highway 2, about a mile west of Campbellton, Florida.

Officials have not yet released the name of the youngest victim, but family members tell News 4 he was John Alan Watson from Northwest Florida.

His parents are Travis and Marci Watson.

Officials say the young boy was taking a ride with Ragan, who is a friend of the family.

Major John Dennis with the Jackson County Sheriff's Deparment said, “About 11:17 this morning, we received a 911 call from a neighbor who says he saw the plane come over the tree-line. It seemed like it had lost power and crashed into a field here in Jackson County. We arrived on the scene; we saw what looked to be a Cessna possibly a 172, crashed into a field.”

Many people in the WTVY building are shocked by the loss of their friend, and co-worker.

Gene Ragan, Russ' father, was known for his news reports on farming that aired right here on News 4 for years.

His son, Russ, chose to follow in his father's footsteps.

The FAA and the NTSB are assisting in the investigation.


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