Three couples die in plane crash, leave behind 11 children

Authorities work the scene of a plane crash at a park along Robert Cardinal Airport Road across from the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Northport, Ala., Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Authorities said several people are dead following the crash of a small airplane near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Erin Nelson/The Tuscaloosa News via AP)
Caption
Authorities work the scene of a plane crash at a park along Robert Cardinal Airport Road across from the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Northport, Ala., Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Authorities said several people are dead following the crash of a small airplane near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Erin Nelson/The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Six adults were killed when a small aircraft crashed Sunday in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama.

The victims were three married couples flying home to Oxford, Mississippi, from a dental conference in Kissimmee, Florida.

The couples had 11 children between them.

Crash victims include Dr. Jason Farese and his wife, Lea Farese, who were graduates of Ole Miss' dentistry school and parents of three children. Their children are 10, 7 and 5, AL.com reported.

>> Daughter of couple killed in plane crash pledges to take care of siblings

Dentist Dr. Michael Perry, another graduate of Ole Miss, and his wife, Kimberly Perry, a nurse practitioner at the university's student health center, were also parents of three children.

Dentist Dr. Austin Poole and his wife, Angie Poole, were parents of five children.

"The families were invested with their time and talents in the community," said Oxford Mayor George Patterson.

The pilot issued a distress signal for the twin-engine Piper plane around 11:10 a.m. on Sunday. Rescue crews were ready, but the plane never reached the airport, according to TuscaloosaNews.com.

The aircraft crashed at 11:20 a.m., succumbing to engine failure.

Jason Farese was a private pilot first certified in 2004, and the plane was registered to a company that shares an address with his Oxford dental office, Federal Aviation Administration records showed.

The crash site was a wooded area just outside of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Northport, Alabama. It's not yet confirmed whether the Tuscaloosa stop was scheduled or not.

"They were a very, very short distance from the runway," said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy. "This is a very sad and very unfortunate situation."

Approximately three minutes after the crash, firefighters arrived on scene.

"They did everything they could," Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon said in a news conference. "It's a sad day. We want everybody to pray for the families."

The National Transportation Safety Board said an investigator was at the crash scene trying to put together a timeline of the final moments of the flight and other details.

Read more here.

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