GORDON COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities have identified the four victims who died in a plane crash Saturday in Gordon County as two pilots and a young couple from Atlanta.
Roy Smith, 68, was the pilot and was from Fayetteville. His co-pilot was Ray Sluk, 63, of Senoia. Also on board was Roy's son, Morgen Smith, 25, from Atlanta, as well as Morgen's girlfriend Savannah Sims, 23, of Atlanta.
The bodies of all four passengers who were aboard the Cessna Citation private jet were recovered on Sunday. The coroner was working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to officially identify them.
A friend of Sims tells 11Alive that she and Morgen had been dating for four years and just celebrated an anniversary on Jan. 20.
The 2015 graduate of Flowery Branch High School went on to study at Georgia State University where she graduated this past May, the friend said.
The crash occurred around 10 a.m. on Saturday after the aircraft departed Falcon Field near Peachtree City. Roughly halfway to its destination, now confirmed to be John C. Tune Airport in Nashville, Tennessee, the aircraft disappeared off the radar near Cherokee County.
Further investigation revealed that the aircraft was seen above Gordon County before it went down, leading to a search that took emergency responders deep into the Gordon County woods.
The sheriff said on Saturday that the airplane wreckage was found more than three miles off the nearest major road and had to be accessed on foot or by all-terrain vehicles. The bodies of the four victims were all located around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
NTSB spokesperson Heidi Kemner said her organization will eventually be working to determine the cause of the deadly crash. Right now, they're looking at the bare facts and working to get the wreckage to a facility where they can continue their investigation.
Kemner did say that looking at weather conditions would be part of the overall investigation. However, the complete investigation could take several more days.