JUNE 24, 2005 - Posted at 7:37 a.m. CDT, updated at 10:37 a.m. CDT
NEW ROADS, LA - An eye surgeon and dentist are among five Jonesboro residents killed last night in a plane crash in southern Louisiana.
Eye surgeon Dr. Robert Landry was reportedly piloting the Beechcraft KingAir F-90 twin-engine plane that apparently crashed into a sugar cane field about 200 yards from the False River Regional Airport, approximately 25 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. All persons aboard the plane are reported to be dead.
The passengers are identified as Dr. Coy Mac Boyd, a Jonesboro dentist; accountant Chris Blanchard; Blanchard's 8-year-old daughter Colby; and 46-year-old Dayna Banks, a science teacher at the Nettleton Intermediate Center.
The group reportedly left Jonesboro shortly before 5 p.m. last night, headed for Landry's summer home on the False River, near New Roads, Louisiana.
A man who lives near the airport witnessed the crash at approximately 7 p.m. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, "The plane's engine was running so bad, I couldn't believe it left the ground," said Angelo Fabre. Fabre was sitting on his front porch when he saw the plane touch down on the runway. After touching down, the plane bounced back into the air. "It went up, veered to the left and took a nosedive straight into the ground and exploded. It was awful."
"When it hit the ground, it burst into flames," explained Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Paul Raymond Smith.
A team from the National Transportation & Safety Board's Fort Worth, Texas office is expected in New Roads today to investigate. Representatives with the aircraft's manufacturer are also expected on the scene.