Colleagues mourn DeKalb couple killed in plane crash



DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Colleagues are mourning a DeKalb County couple killed when their private plane crashed in South Georgia.

The man piloting the plane was a local doctor who colleagues say treated hundreds of patients' wounds. His wife was a longtime educator.

Dr. Sid Shah, 58, and his wife, Shama Gamkhar were flying from Fernandina Beach, Fla. to Lawrenceville Sunday when their plane crashed in Alma, a town near Bacon County. The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was making its way to Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh spoke to Shah's colleagues Monday at Rockdale Medical Center. They said the medical community is struggling to deal with the loss of a respected man who devoted years to helping and healing others.

"The outpouring of love and respect for him has been beyond words today," said Deborah Armstrong, CEO of Rockdale Medical Center.

Kavanaugh obtained video of the aftermath from the crash.

Witnesses reported hearing a plane sputtering; then a driver spotted the debris.

"It's just unbelievable how much debris there is here from that one plane. It may be the worse I've ever seen," said Bacon County Sheriff Richard Foskey.

Kavanaugh saw people gathering at the couple's Tucker home Monday.

Armstrong says Shah is also being remembered by a network of patients and colleagues in Conyers, where he focused on treating people with long-term wounds.

"We estimate he's probably physically saved limbs of about 500 patients," Armstrong said.

Armstrong says Shah was known for his healing touch and the time he took to understand patients' individual needs. Gamkhar, his wife, was a longtime professor at the University of Texas.

The university issued a statement saying she as a beloved colleague, devoted teacher and wonderful friend.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

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