St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lakeland is the hyperlink between the victims who died in a aircraft crash on Christmas Eve close to the runway at Bartow Municipal Airport.
John Shannon and his daughters Olivia and Victoria attended the church, together with their household pal, Krista Clayton, who additionally died within the aircraft crash with them.
Church member Greg Wilhelm was pals with each households. He stated everybody referred to as Victoria “Tori.” He and his spouse attended her wedding ceremony in June, when she married Peter Worthington, Jr., who additionally died within the crash.
“I used to be very, very stunned when it occurred,” stated Greg Wilhelm. “I’ve to consider in my coronary heart there was some sort of mechanical drawback. I don’t know. Once more, I’m not a pilot however John was so meticulous. He liked everybody on that aircraft. That was his complete household plus a really shut pal Krista Clayton.”
Wilhelm stated referred to as John Shannon an in depth pal he’s recognized for 20 years. He stated he was very near his daughters; Olivia even labored half time in her father’s regulation workplace.
“He was actually near each of his daughters. He had raised them by himself since they have been very younger,” stated Wilhelm.
He flew with John a number of occasions to locations so far as Turks and Caicos. He stated John flew to the Keys a number of occasions a yr, and it wasn’t out of the unusual for him to ask pals in the event that they needed to return with him.
“It was virtually to the purpose of obsession when John ready the aircraft for a flight. He went to so many checks and rechecks, and double checks,” stated Wilhelm.
Whereas Wilhelm thought-about John an in depth good friend, he stated he was even nearer to Krista Clayton’s household. Her fiancé Marc was his enterprise associate for a number of years and Wilhelm stated they labored out of Clayton and her fiance’s house.
Wilhelm stated he spent all of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with him, offering him help by way of this time.
“He simply wants everybody’s prayer and help and love as a result of is … the ironic factor is whereas all of us love John Shannon, and he raised his two daughters by himself. That’s what Marc goes to get to do. He’s going to get to boost his two daughters by himself,” stated Wilhelm.
Clayton taught gifted youngsters at Jewett Faculty of the Arts. When she wasn’t working, Wilhelm stated she was targeted on her three yr previous and 18-month-previous daughters.
“She was continuously taking good care of the youngsters … She actually beloved these youngsters. They’re going to overlook her,” stated Wilhelm.
Wilhelm stated he’s serving to his pastor and Clayton’s fiancé with funeral preparations. The our bodies are nonetheless with the coroner’s workplace.
Investigators with the Nationwide Transportation Security Board continued to research the plane concerned within the crash on Christmas.
Its spokesman Eric Weiss stated they’re within the strategy of getting a contractor to maneuver the aircraft from the crash website to one of many businesses amenities in Jacksonville, so it may be analyzed.
Weiss stated a preliminary report must be out there in seven to 10…