KERRVILLE, Texas – A coroner in Mississippi has released the names of four Kerrville residents who were killed Monday morning when their small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Tupelo Regional Airport.
Lt. Col. Henry L. Jackson, 75, and his wife, Lt. Col. Gwynn A. Groggel, 70, were killed, along with their friends, Charles Torti, 69, and Carrie Torti, 59.
The Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol confirmed the deaths of Jackson and Groggel on Monday night. Mississippi officials identified Charles and Carrie Tortie on Tuesday morning.
Lee County Coroner Carolyn Green said she identified the victims by interviewing family members and checking a flight manifest, The Associated Press reports.
The bodies were badly burned in a fire after the Beechcraft Bonanza registered to Jackson and Groggel crashed just after takeoff Monday. The plane was scheduled to fly to Charlottesville, Virginia. It left Kerrville for Mississippi on Sunday.
Groggle and Jackson had been part of the Civil Air Patrol for over two decades.
“They were members of the Kerrville Composite Squadron and were responsible for starting the squadron back in the 1990s,” said Maj. George Otto, squadron commander. “Groggel was also the first commander of the Kerrville Squadron.”
A Federal Aviation Administration official said the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit after taking off.
FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the FAA will investigate, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.