OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - Two people are dead and several others are injured after a small plane crashed in Lee County Friday. The craft, identified as a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza, crashed around 11:30am in a field off Lee Road 112 in Beauregard.
Victims killed in the crash include Sanford Jones, 56, of Fairburn, Georgia and Sasha Medina, 19, of Newnan, Georgia. Jones is the Chief Judge for the Fulton Co., Ga. Juvenile Court.
Injured victims were identified as Sarah Conklin, 19 and Joshua Rumohr, 18 both of Newnan, Georgia. Each was transported to East Alabama Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities say the survivors called 911 and directed rescue personnel to the crash location. First responders were on the scene within 16 minutes.
The victims knew each other from a church group. The teens had apparently traveled by car to Destin, Florida and the judge was flying them back to Georgia when the accident occurred.
Investigators say the plane experienced engine trouble and the pilot radioed the Opelika-Auburn Airport for help. When the plane's engine quit two miles out from the airport the pilot started looking for a field to land in.
The emergency landing was unsuccessful, however, as the plane clipped a patch of trees and nose dived into the ground. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris pronounced Jones and Medina dead at the scene. They suffered severe head trauma and multiple blunt force injuries.
The FAA and NTSB were on the scene investigating the crash.