Originally created 01/03/06

Small plane crashes, killing two



DAWSON, Ga. - Two people were killed and three others injured when a plane crashed several feet off the runway at Dawson Municipal Airport.

The 1968 model Beech Baron, a twin-engine, propeller-driven plane, crashed around 2:45 p.m. Sunday, authorities said.

Two people, including the pilot, died at the scene. Two male passengers were seriously injured, Terrell County Coroner James "Bo" Hamby said. A female passenger suffered minor injuries, Mr. Hamby said.

The three survivors were being treated at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Mr. Hamby said.

The plane was registered to Joseph C. Krier, of Indianapolis.

Authorities did not immediately identify the victims, but business associates identified the dead as Mr. Krier, the owner of an automobile dealership in Indianapolis, and his wife, Barbara.

April Douthit, who had worked as a car saleswoman for Mr. Krier for about six months but had known him for about six years, said he was on his way to Florida with his wife, sons and daughter for a vacation.

Mr. Krier's plane was on an instrument flight plan from Indianapolis to Albany, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said. The plane, which was in contact with FAA controllers throughout the flight, attempted to land at Albany, then diverted to Dawson, 137 miles south of Atlanta, Ms. Bergen said.

Ms. Bergen said she did not know why the plane diverted. Weather in the Albany area was foggy and stormy and much of southwest Georgia was under tornado watches throughout the day.

According to FAA records, Mr. Krier was qualified to pilot an aircraft in poor visibility.