Plane Crash Claims Two Lives in Rhea County

Plane Crash Claims Two Lives in Rhea County

Big Orange Trailer Park-Evensville Tennessee

October 28, 1978

Richard Gornik and Jane Powell

Around 4:19 pm on the afternoon of Saturday, October 23, 1978, a single engine Cessna 150 plane clipped a power line and crashed killing both the pilot and the lone passenger on board.

Killed in the crash was the pilot 28-year-old Richard Gornik of Dayton and a passenger 24-year-old Jane Powell of Graysville. Gornik was an employee of Sawyers Funeral Service and attended the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. Miss Powell was an employee of Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The plane clipped a static line of T.V.A. transmission line and crashed just south of the Rhea County High School in the Big Orange Mobile Home Park. The wreckage landed just inches from an occupied trailer home. The trailer belonged to Donnie McMillian and his family.

The Sale Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad responded to the scene.

Both victims were pronounced DOA upon arrival at the hospital.

William S. Whitmore, a flight standards inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the accident occurred as a result of “Failure to clear an obstacle”.



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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

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