3 Texas men killed Georgia plane crash identified

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Sunday, March 8, 2020

WATKINSVILLE, Georgia -- Three Texas men died in a single-engine plane crash Tuesday evening in northwest Georgia, authorities confirmed.

The Oconee County Sheriff's Office found no survivors after the aircraft went down deep in a wooded area west of Watkinsville around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the agency said during a news conference late that night.

The men are, 63-year-old Gordon Hall of Martindale, Texas, 67-year-old Donald Grieb of Houston, Texas, and 65-year-old Chris Weber of Missouri City, Texas.

The Piper PA-46 crashed 10 miles southwest of Athens after air traffic controllers lost contact over Oconee County, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The plane was coming from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina and headed to the Tuscaloosa National Airport in Alabama, according to the federal agency.

There were secondary explosions upon the plane's impact, the Oconee County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday. There were no injuries reported to anyone outside of the plane, or damage to nearby structures, the sheriff added.

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause, authorities said.