5 die in small plane crash near Tampa, officials say

Deputies say fog may have contributed to the crash

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor
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BARTOW, Fla. - Five people died in a small plane crash Sunday outside Tampa, authorities said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said a twin-engine plane crashed Sunday morning at the end of a runway at Bartow Municipal Airport.

The sheriff's office identified the pilot as John Shannon, 70, of Lakeland. Also killed were Shannon's daughters, Olivia Shannon, 24, and Victoria Shannon Worthington, 26; his son-in-law Peter Worthington, 27; and family friend Krista Clayton, 32.

Victoria Shannon Worthington and Peter Worthington, both of Baltimore, were visiting their family for the holidays. John Shannon had filed a flight plan to travel to Key West, deputies said.

The sheriff's office said the crash was likely caused by fog.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shannon, Worthington, and Clayton families," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.  "This is a tragedy any time, but it is so much worse because it happened on Christmas Eve."

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