LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — An eight-passenger private plane crashed near the Feu Follet Road post office this morning, shortly after lifting off from Lafayette Regional Airport at 9:20 a.m.
Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit confirmed five dead at the scene. One survivor from the plane and three bystanders were transported to local hospitals.
The plane, a twin-engine turboprop Piper owned by Cheyenne Partners, LLC, (N42CV) was headed to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Ga., according to its flight plans. Flight data from flightaware.com showed that the plane only achieved an altitude of around 375 feet before crashing. Eyewitnesses explained that the plane took out power lines and struck a nearby occupied vehicle – the driver of which was among the bystanders take to the hospital.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) should be on the scene by 9 p.m. tonight, and Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit said it will likely be Sunday (Dec. 29) before more information is released from their investigation.
The impact of the plane blew out the windows of the nearby post office, and two people inside the post office were among those transported to the hospital, primarily for smoke inhalation, according to Benoit.
Further information in the crash investigation will likely not come until Sunday after officials from the National Transportation Safety Board have had the opportunity to investigate the wreckage.
Officials were scheduled to be on-scene by 9 p.m. tonight.
The passengers of the plane have been confirmed as follows:
- Ian E. Biggs, white male, the plane’s pilot, age 51
- Robert Vaughn Crisp II, white male, age 59
- Carley Ann McCord, white female, age 30
- Gretchen D. Vincent, white female, age 51
- Michael Walker Vincent, white male, age 15
One injured plane passenger remains hospitalized and in critical condition:
- Stephen Wade Berzas, white male, age 37
Carley McCord is also the daughter-in-law of LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger.
A woman named Danielle was also identified as the driver of the vehicle struck by plane debris.
Around 200 people in the surrounding neighborhoods were left without power after the crash. The Walmart on Pinhook Drive was evacuated and closed as a precaution.
Another bystander who has not been identified was taken to Lafayette General Medical Center and was listed in critical condition. They were later transferred to a New Orleans hospital.
Eyewitnesses tell KLFY the scene say they heard sounds from above “like a semi-truck” as the lights went out at businesses and residences near the crash scene.
Kevin Jackson, a local resident, said he saw the crash.
“I was right outside before the crash. I noticed (the plane) was low and smoking like hell,” said Jackson. “It shook my trailer. I knew something was bad. I went in my house, and all you heard was this massive explosion.”
“Someone was screaming from that car,” said one eyewitness. “There were little explosions for five minutes or so after that. There was a big old ball of flame.”
This is a developing story, and we will continue to update it as information becomes available.