TUSCALOOSE, Ala.- Three married couples were killed in a small airplane crash after taking off from a Kissimmee airport.
The couples had been visiting Central Florida for a dental seminar over the weekend. They left from Kissimmee Gateway Airport around 10 a.m. Sunday to head back to Mississippi.
Some time around 11:10 a.m. the pilot of the small airplane made a distressed signal and the airplane went down moments later short of a runway at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, said Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon during a news conference with Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.
Firefighters were on the scene within three minutes of the crash but were not able to save any of the people on board, said Herndon.
The Oxford Eagle reported that the six people on board were married couples, three men and three women, who were returning from a dental seminar in Florida when the crash occurred.
The Eagle reported the six people are all from Oxford, Miss. and have been identified as Dr. Jason Farese and his wife, Dr. Lea Farese; Dr. Michael Perry and his wife, Kim; and Dr. Austin Poole and his wife, Angie.
All three couples leave behind in total 11 children varying in age. None of the children were on the plane.
Dr. Poole and his wife live in Oxford, but his dental practice is in Clarksdale. The couple is survived through five children.
Dr. Perry graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. His wife, Kim Perry, was a nurse practitioner and worked at Ole Miss. The couple leaves behind three children.
The Fareses, both dentists at Farese Family Dental in Oxford, had left Wednesday for Florida. They leave behind three children, ages 10, 7 and 5. Their youngest just started kindergarten this week.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported the Piper PA-31 went down in trees near the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport after experiencing engine trouble.