CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) – Two people died Friday when their small plane crashed in a wooded area in Hopkinsville, about 80 miles northwest of Nashville.
The victims of the plane crash have been identified as Dominic and Dianne Giammetta of Bettendorf, Iowa, according to emergency officials in Christian County.
Nearby residents called authorities and described what sounded like a downed aircraft around 12:10 p.m. off Shurdan Creek Road, according to Captain Chris Miller with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.
First responders located the crashed plane in a densely wooded area behind a field. The wreckage and debris spanned a wide area, about 50 to 75 yards by 50 to 75 yards.
“Usually that indicates the severity of the crash, how hard the aircraft hits the earth,” said Capt. Miller.
“The plane is beyond recognizable.”
Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on the scene Saturday morning to begin a two to three day process of speaking with witnesses, analyzing the wreckage, and working to determine the cause of the crash.
According to an NTSB spokesperson, the plane was en route from Davenport, Iowa, to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, when it went down.
ABC affiliate WAAY-TV says a representative at Northwest Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals learned the plane was supposed to land between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday. The area is a popular stopping place for people traveling from the Midwest to Florida.
The Associated Press reports their remains were taken from the site Saturday and sent for autopsies.
The Federal Aviation Administration identified the aircraft as a Beechcraft Bonanza BE36, a small single-engine aircraft with six seats.
The FAA is investigating alongside the NTSB.
The governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, released a statement Friday night that says, “We’ve received word of a multiple fatality plane crash in Hopkinsville. For all Kentuckians who understand the power of prayer, please join me in praying for the families and friends of those affected, and for strength and wisdom for our first responders.”