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3 Dead After Panama City Plane Crashes in GA

By: WJHG
By: WJHG

LAGRANGE, Ga. Officials in LaGrange, Georgia are investigating why a plane that originally took off from Panama City Beach Saturday morning crashed at the LaGrange Callaway Airport in Georgia.

Officials say the flight took off from a Panama City airport Saturday morning.

The plane identified as a 1980 Beech nosedived just past 1:00 Saturday afternoon, killing two men immediately.

A third was airlifted to Columbus Medical Center where he later died.

Officials confirm 60 year old Vincent Rosetti, 69 year old Willy Lutz, and 53 year old Jeffrey Van Curtis from Peachtree City, Georgia, were all killed.

According to witnesses, the pilot was practicing instrument approaches and had landed several times, but this time as he was landing he spotted another plane taxiing across the runway in front of him, towing a glider and pulled up suddenly to avoid colliding with them.

"Ended up stalling the aircraft and rolling over to the left and impacting the ground pretty much nose down," said Rusty Miller, witness.

Miller and others rushed up to the wreckage.

It was not on fire, but Miller says the pilot and co-pilot had been killed instantly.

The passenger in back was taken to Columbus Medical Center and LaGrange Fire Lieutenant Chris Taylor says he died there later in the afternoon.

According to Miller, two physicians from Metro Atlanta had just bought the plane, and they were on board with an instructor when it crashed.

There is no control tower at LaGrange Callaway Airport.

The NTSB will now try to figure out why both pilots didn't know, they would end up using the same runway at the same moment.

Miller said, "It's just tragic. I feel for the families. Thoughts and prayers going out to them."

The general manager of Sheltair, Mike Lerma, says he's received several calls in reference to this plane crash.

However, he has no record of it taking off from the airport.

Lerma says Sheltair does not record when planes out of private hangers take off.

The NTSB will continue the investigation.


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