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Family of Five Known for Athletic Talent Tragically Perish in Small Plane Crash After Baseball Tournament

Family baseball tournament tragedy.

Family of Five Killed in Small Plane Crash Remembered as Gifted Athletes

NEW YORK: A family of five were tragically killed in a small plane crash in upstate New York after their joyous occasion of witnessing their preteen son hit a grand slam at a baseball tournament. The catastrophically ill-fated journey, which started from Georgia, spanned over nearly a thousand miles.

Young Victories Overshadowed by Tragedy

Talented 12-year-old athlete, James Van Epps, fulfilled his dream of hitting a grand slam at the annual national baseball tournament at Cooperstown Dreams Park just days before the disaster. The family’s journey to New York was piloted by the kids’ grandfather, Roger Beggs, age 76. Alongside James, Harrison, 10, and their parents, Laura and Ryan Van Epps, both 42, were also amongst the victims.

Sudden End to Promising Lives

The small plane had just embarked on its return journey to the Atlanta suburb of Milton when the single-engine Piper PA-46 crashed in Mansonville, upstate New York. The end of five precious lives has left their extended family and friends in profound grief. Both James and Harrison were admired for being gifted students and phenomenal athletes. Harrison was a promising lacrosse player.

The deceased parents had always bolstered their kids to chase their dreams, offered their bereaved paternal grandfather. An outpouring of grief and tributes flooded social media, with the family confirming the heartbreaking news in a Facebook post.

Finding words to express their unbearable sorrow, they shared, “As we grapple with this unimaginable loss, let us come together to remember and celebrate the beautiful lives they lived. Their kindness, laughter, and love will forever be etched in our hearts.”

Cause of the Crash

The exact cause of the crash remains unidentified and the incident is undergoing rigorous investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board. Online records reveal that Beggs had been a licensed pilot for 10 years.

The wreckage was found after an extensive search involving drones and helicopters. The small plane was en route to the Cobb County International Airport in Atlanta with a planned fuel stop in West Virginia when the tragic crash occurred.

Community Tributes and Condolences

Upon hearing the tragic news, the Oneonta Women’s Softball league paid tribute to James, also known as J.R., by presenting his gear bearing his initials in a touching tribute. They reminded everyone to “Never forget to hold those you cherish close; they can be gone in an instant“.

Remembering the family’s warm nature, a neighbor shared, “They were the kindest family and the sweetest people. Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, also extended his deepest condolences to all those who were acquainted with and loved the departed.


Family of Five Known for Athletic Talent Tragically Perish in Small Plane Crash After Baseball Tournament

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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