Three National Guard members died in plane crash in Tennessee

Authorities have identified three National Guard members who died after a plane crashed in Tennessee on Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the victims were aboard a single-engine Piper PA-28 airplane that crashed about 11:40 a.m. near Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the victims were Lt. Col. Shelli Dawn Huether, 45, of Nolensville; Capt. Jessica Naomi Wright, 37, of Murfreesboro and Scott Alan Bumpus, 53, of Murfreesboro. All three were part of the 18th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group.

According to preliminary information compiled by the FAA, the crash occurred under unknown circumstances and while the flight was en route.

The information shows that one person was part of the flight crew and two people were passengers. It was not immediately clear who was flying the plane.

“Words cannot begin to explain the shock, grief, pain and dismay we feel having lost three remarkable members of our Guard family,” said Col. Todd Wiles in a news release. “All three were dedicated to the service of our nation. Their families are in our hearts and our prayers.”

No one else was on board.

The plane took off from the Warren County airport and crashed in a nearby field, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said.

A witness told investigators that the plane appeared to be trying to return to the airport when it crashed.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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