Tragedy strikes several families following a Christmas Eve plane crash

@PolkCoSheriff/Twitter

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Unfortunately for several families, the Christmas weekend started off with tragedy.

WFLA reports that a small plane fatally crashed on Sunday morning after taking off from Bartow Municipal Airport in Florida. The crash occurred at the end of the runway after it attempted to take off in heavy fog, though an official cause has not yet been determined.

“Clearly, no one should have tried a takeoff,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

The plane reportedly caught fire after it crashed.

“There was no chance of survival,” Judd added.

Officials said that five involved in the crash were pronounced dead at the scene, either dying on impact or shortly after.

“The only thing you can say is nobody suffered,” said Judd.

Names and identities of the victims were eventually released:

John Shannon, 70, Lakeland attorney and pilot of the aircraft
Olivia Shannon, 24, his daughter
Victoria Shannon-Worthington, 26, his daugher
Peter Worthington, Jr., 27, Shannon-Worthington’s husband
Krista Clayton, 32, a family friend

“This is a tragedy anytime, but it is so much worse because it happened on Christmas Eve,” Judd said in a statement.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Shannon filed a flight plan to Key West. Victoria Shannon-Worthington and Peter Worthington had traveled to join the family for Christmas from Baltimore.

The Bartow Police Department extended thoughts and prayers to the surviving family members.

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