Georgia Family Dead in Central Texas Plane Crash
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A single-engine plane crashed in central Texas, killing the pilot, his wife and two children from Georgia, as well as his brother, officials said Tuesday.
The Piper Saratoga aircraft crashed just before 10 p.m. Monday in a farming and ranching community in northeast Brazos County, said Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The flight originated in Atlanta, stopped in Jackson, Miss., and was headed for Waco, Texas, when it crashed in a field north of Bryan and College Station. A resident called 911 to report the crash.
Vinger identified the victims as 33-year-old Michael D. Butler; his 34-year-old wife Kelly; their 14-year-old daughter Brooke; and son Braden, age 2. The family was from Stockbridge, Georgia, south of Atlanta.
Also killed was the pilot's brother, David S. Butler, 37, of Mount Clam, Texas.
The plane had yet to begin its descent into Waco, and storms with rain and lightning were moving through the area when the crash occurred. Vinger said it was not clear if the weather played any role, and that authorities hadn't determined the cause of the crash.
Heavy snow fell Monday in parts of northwest Texas, though the crash occurred hundreds of miles south and east of the areas of the state that suffered the most severe weather.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash scene Tuesday and flew over the area in a helicopter, following a similar flight plan to the aircraft that crashed.
"From there, you can see a whole lot more than you can see from down here," said Department of Public Safety Cpl. Jimmy Morgan, who was also at the scene. "Maybe you can see something we don't."
Vinger said authorities were not sure why the family was headed to Waco.