Thomson jet crash kills 5; 2 survivors hospitalized

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 8:49 PM
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 2:42 AM
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THOMSON — Five people died Wednesday night when a small jet – apparently connected to the Vein Guys in Augusta and carrying seven people – crashed at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport.

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Ambulances gather at the old Georgia State Patrol post near the crash, which started fires and knocked out power in Thomson.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Ambulances gather at the old Georgia State Patrol post near the crash, which started fires and knocked out power in Thomson.

McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall confirmed the fatalities early today. The identities of the dead were being withheld pending notification of family members, he said.

The incoming plane crashed about 8 p.m., just north of the Milliken & Co. plant, after landing at the airport off U.S. Highway 78, said Federal Aviation Admin­istration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

The pilot and a passenger were alive, according to McDuffie County Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Sewell. Marshall confirmed that two survivors were taken to area hospitals.

Bergen said preliminary reports indicate the jet – a Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I – ran off the end of the runway after it landed.

Perry Barinowski, a professional pilot and the president of AirStat Private Air Charter, said he was familiar with the craft that went down because he has a plane based in Thomson and sees that jet frequently.

Barinowski said the aircraft was owned and operated by the Vein Guys, a medical practice with clinics in several other South­eastern cities, including Nashville, Tenn., where the plane departed Wednesday evening.

The plane, with tail number N777VG, flew to and from Thom­son-McDuffie County Airport frequently, according to federal flight data collected and posted online by flightaware.com. It had flown between Thomson and Nashville at least six times this month.

Flight records show the plane departed John C. Tune Airport in Nashville at 6:28 p.m. CST and was scheduled to arrive at the Thomson airport 36 minutes later.

A woman who identified herself as Dr. Steven Roth’s mother-in-law said late Wednesday that Roth – a vascular surgeon for Vein Guys – was on the plane and her daughter was at a local hospital but that the family did not know Roth’s condition.

The McDuffie County coroner’s office said no bodies had been removed from the scene.

Dr. Stephen Davis, a plastic surgeon who works with the Vein Guys in Nashville, said he saw Roth on Wednesday and knew that he had left for home on the plane that evening but had not heard anything else about his partner or his condition.

“I’ve been trying to find out myself all night,” he said when reached at home late Wednesday.

Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine the probable cause of the crash.

The plane is registered to a company based in Wilmington, Del.

The crash left thousands without power and caused a brush fire a quarter-mile long, officials said. A number of law enforcement, fire and rescue workers responded to the scene.

Staff Writer Steve Crawford and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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concercitizen
340
Points
concercitizen 02/20/13 - 10:07 pm
5
0
The approach to the airport

The approach to the airport runway takes a plane directly over the top of a major manufacturing plant, Milliken, also known as Kingsley Mill. The approach is so low that if one is coming on the highway at the right time, you can see the people in the plane. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened, and I hope there are no fatalities.

Kelly Jasper
86
Points
Kelly Jasper 02/20/13 - 10:16 pm
5
0
We're told the crash happened

We're told the crash happened right next to the Milliken plant. We'll keep you updated as more details are available.

curly123053
4246
Points
curly123053 02/20/13 - 11:13 pm
5
0
Praying!!!!

Prayers for the victims !!

itsanotherday1
40333
Points
itsanotherday1 02/20/13 - 11:47 pm
4
0
Everyone's nightmare with

Everyone's nightmare with general aviation.

justputtin
1384
Points
justputtin 02/21/13 - 12:19 am
6
2
Not yet lawyer dude

The news just said that the sheriff in mc county said all families have NOT all been identified. I have also heard who was in the plane but it is certainly not my place, especially in this situation, to say anything. They have not given official info.

sillyrabbit
40
Points
sillyrabbit 02/21/13 - 01:02 am
4
0
Prayers for the LOCAL

Prayers for the LOCAL families that undoubtedly have heard about the crash & put 2 & 2 together that McDuffie airport doesn't have much traffic & they haven't heard from their loved one. Very sad!

sillyrabbit
40
Points
sillyrabbit 02/21/13 - 01:02 am
4
0
Prayers for the LOCAL

Prayers for the LOCAL families that undoubtedly have heard about the crash & put 2 & 2 together that McDuffie airport doesn't have much traffic & they haven't heard from their loved one. Very sad!

willie7
918
Points
willie7 02/21/13 - 01:23 am
4
0
I am praying for Dr. Roth, my
Unpublished

I am praying for Dr. Roth, my great doctor ,and the other survivor.

Darby
23615
Points
Darby 02/21/13 - 05:04 pm
2
0
Keeping my mouth shut on this one....

except to say that I have so much empathy for the survivors. It hurts just to think about what they are going through.

Eleanor60
4
Points
Eleanor60 02/22/13 - 09:46 pm
0
0
Airport question...

Since they were from Augusta, why did they fly in and out of the McDuffie County airport in Thomson...and not in and out from Daniel Field?

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