3 men dead after plane vanishes, crashes near Ga. airport

CLAXTON, Ga. — Three men are dead after their plane vanished from a Georgia airport overnight Monday.

The Evans County Sheriff’s Office said a plane vanished near Claxton-Evans County Airport outside Savannah around 12:30 a.m.

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The Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division and the Federal Aviation Administration searched for the plane for hours and found the wreckage around 5:30 a.m.

Three men inside the plane were killed. Their identities have not been officially released.

Family members identified one of the victims as Mark Dement on social media. His daughter, Ann Blackmon, said Monday was her father’s birthday.

“Today was my father, Mark Dement’s birthday… and now his death day,: Blackmon wrote. “I always figured he would have lung cancer or stroke out, but I guess he was correct in saying to do what makes you happy (because) you just don’t know.”

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane was a Piper PA-30.


The FAA is now investigating the crash.

“Please pray for the families involved in this tragic incident, as our hearts go out to them during this time,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

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It’s unclear where the men were from or where they were headed.

This is the second small plane crash in Georgia in less than 24 hours.

A small plane crashed Sunday morning around 10 a.m. in a backyard of a Warner Robins home.

WGXA reports that the pilot had to be extracted from the plane. He was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.