Plane Carrying Leaders From Local Church Crashes, All Presumed Deceased

UPDATE: Monday, May 31 Crews Continue Recovery Efforts in Percy Priest Plane Crash

UPDATE: Sunday, May 30: 

Multiple agencies continued operations through the night at the scene of a small jet crash on Percy Priest lake that occurred Saturday morning.

There are no major developments or discoveries at this time. The lead investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is expected to be on site midday to join local officials and Federal Aviation Administration representatives already on site.

Plans are to continue examining the extensive debris field. Dive teams from Rutherford County Fire Rescue, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management, Metro Nashville Police Department, and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency will be conducting dive operations in recovery efforts today.

“With dive teams in the water, we are strongly urging civilian boaters to stay away from the public safety boats,” said RCFR Captain and Incident Commander John Ingle. “This is for their safety and the safety of our personnel in the water.”

Ingle also noted that the Lamar Hill boat ramp and Fate Sanders Recreation area are closed until further notice.

“Recovery efforts are ongoing on the lake from the Weakley Lane bridge to the Lamar Hill Boat Ramp,” said Ingle. “We are asking all civilian boaters to stay clear of those areas.”

Original Story: Saturday, May 29

At 10:53 a.m. Saturday morning, a 1982 CESSNA 501 departed Smyrna Airport heading toward Palm Beach International. Shortly after take-off, the small jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake.

All indications are that a total of seven people were on board. Family members of all persons believed to be on the flight have now been notified. With the families’ permission, officials are releasing the names: William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah all of Brentwood, Tennessee. All are presumed deceased.

Many of those aboard the plane were leaders at Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, including Gwen Shamblin Lara, the founder of the Remnant Fellowship Church and Christian diet program the Weight Down Workshop, according to multiple news reports.

Rutherford County Fire Rescue, Almaville and Lascassas Volunteer Fire Departments, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, Rutherford County Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Smyrna Airport Authority Public Safety, Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management and Stormpoint Disaster Support responded to the scene initially and have since been joined by representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be the lead investigating agency and will have representatives on site Sunday.

Crews will continue operations through the night.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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