Family traveling from baseball tournament die in tragic crash

A Georgia family of five were tragically killed in a plane crash while flying home from a baseball tournament in Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The New York State Police reported on Monday that the single-engine Piper Malibu Mirage took off from Oneonta Municipal Airport in central New York on Sunday and crashed in Masonville, approximately 90 miles southeast of Syracuse.

The victims were identified as Roger Beggs, 76, who was reported to be the pilot of the plane; Laura VanEpps, 43; Ryan VanEpps, 42; James R. VanEpps, 12; and Harrison VanEpps, 10.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement on X: “As we learn of this tragic news, please join Marty, the girls, and me in praying for the loved ones of the Beggs and VanEpps families. We offer our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved them.”

Local police were alerted of a suspected crash around 2 p.m. on Sunday. They launched a search in the Lake Cecil Road area, utilizing helicopters, drones, and ATVs. After these extensive search efforts, the crash site and the wrecked plane were eventually located.

As reported by People, the flight plan included a scheduled refueling stop in West Virginia before continuing on to Atlanta.

Ryan VanEpps’ sister, Ansley, shared her sorrow and grief over the loss of her family members.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and state police are working together to investigate the cause of the crash.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the family were flying through an area of “storm activity.”

Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims’ families. May they rest in peace.

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