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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  • by Kathleen Tate Location: Parker Fl on Aug 5, 2007 at 08:23 PM
    My thought and prayers go out to the Watson Family and the Regan Family. I know Janet And David Watson and Know John will be realy missed He was the Apple of there eye. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
  • by Debra Location: Enterprise, Alabama on Jul 27, 2007 at 10:42 PM
    Deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers are extended to the Reagan Family for their loss, and also to the Watson family for their loss. May your memories comfort your heart and ease your spirit, and may you all find peace during this traumatic time in your lives.
  • by hometown on Jul 27, 2007 at 08:44 AM
    god bless the watson family as well as the ragan family.
  • by Julie Location: Sasser on Jul 27, 2007 at 05:37 AM
    This is truly a tragedy. As I am sure Mr. Ragan will be missed by loved ones and friends, we need to also remember the 7 year old! As I tucked my 7 year old in bed last night and I told him I love him, I thought of the Watson's who didn't have their son there for them to say I love you one more time and tuck him safely in his bed. I am originally from Graceville and I know the Watson family and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire family along w/ Mr. Ragan's family as well.
  • by Lori Location: Enterprise on Jul 27, 2007 at 03:13 AM
    Russ was a wonderful person, I had the pleasure of meeting him back in the early 90's we both had a birthday the same month his being the 17th of Feb. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He truly was a caring person and I know the whole community will miss him.
  • by Virginia Location: Hartford, AL on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:49 PM
    Let's not forget that Russ Ragan, who was obviously a wonderful man was not the only person killed in this crash. A precious 7 year old boy was also killed. His loss is just as great to his family and extended family and friends as Russ' is to his family and friends. Prayers are with the Watson and Joyner families.
  • by Delores Location: Graceville, FL on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:20 PM
    I am sure Mr. Ragan was all he was said to be on the news report and I am sure everyone loved him...but, don't forget about the 7 year old. I have a 7 year old grandson who played baseball with him..a 7 year old granddaughter who was in his grade at school. There are TWO brokenhearted families tonight. Don't forget John Alan Watson, whose father and uncle spent time in my home with my children during their school years.
  • by Kecia Location: Ocean Springs, MS on Jul 26, 2007 at 06:21 PM
    Russ was a wonderful man and he will truly be missed! Our prayers go out to his family.
  • by Barbara Location: Wicksburg, Al on Jul 26, 2007 at 06:19 PM
    I got to go on a trip to the dog races in Shorter,Al with Russ. He was a very nice person and he will be missed by everyone who came in contact with him. We will miss you Russ.
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