Monday, March 9, 2009


CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. -- Emergency officials have now released the names of the victims of Sunday's deadly plane crash in Carroll County.

Brian Kearney, 51, of Marietta was the pilot and one of the owners of the plane. His body is was recovered this afternoon a little after 12:20 p.m. His wife, Christa Kearney, 45, also died in the crash, along with Timothy Dean Miller, 40, of Woodstock. He was a friend of the Kearneys.

Christa Kearney was a real estate attorney and worked as a partner for Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco in Atlanta. The firm's website indicates that she was an avid sports fan, especially NASCAR. The site also shows that she lived in East Cobb with her husband and their dog, Lacey.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Administration said no distress signals or calls went out before the plane crashed in a Carroll County lake early Sunday, killing all three people on board.

Emergency crews found the bodies of the two passengers soon after arriving at the crash site on Sunday and the pilot's body was recovered this afternoon. The single-engine plane was a Cessna 182p, and the FAA Registry lists a Roswell man as the registered owner, among more than one who owned the plane. It was manufactured in 1975. The plane dove into the lake just before 9:00 a.m. Sunday. It was on its way from McCollum Field in Cobb County to Tara Field next to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race was to take place.

"I was asleep, heard a boom, thought it was thunder," said Corey McKenzie, who lives with his family next to the privately-owned lake, called Shadinger's Lake, off of Georgia Highway 166 and Carrollton Tyus Road, just southwest of Carrollton. "I jumped up, got on my four-wheeler, rode over there and the lake was just covered in fuel. Fuel was real strong [smelling]. And debris -- everywhere in the lake, just floating. Seats floating. Just a terrible sight." There was nothing McKenzie could do to help. "I came down there hollering, you know, 'Hello, hello, hello!' And no one ever answered," he said, still shaking.

"It essentially came in nose-first, and then disintigrated upon hitting the water," said Carroll County Fire-Rescue Chief Gary Thomas, who said the large amount of fuel spilled in the crash made it impossible, at first, for divers to go into the water. "There was a bag floating on the water," McKenzie said, "with race tickets floating straight up in the air... I knew it was racing fans." The lake is 15 to 20 feet deep. The water is murkey. Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers brought in their own boat and scanned the lake bottom with sonar to help divers look for the pilot's body, and to locate the plane. And just before 8:00 p.m. Sunday, recovery crews using a crane gently lifted the wreckage out of the water and onto shore.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what happened. "


Jen & Rob said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this Ashley. Life is definitely so very fragile.

Heather said...

I am worried about you with all these stressers! I hope all is going well for your beautiful family! I am thinking about you and your crew!