A plane crash in Arkansas on Monday around 2:15 p.m. has taken the lives of Ivan B. Williams III and Adina Beth Williams of Pryor in Arkansas. The husband and wife team was flying back on Monday from Alabama on the couple’s newly purchased Piper Saratoga “when they encountered cloudy, rainy skies, ultimately losing radio contact and crashing into a wooded Arkansas hillside,” reported KJRH on Oct. 22, 2013.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), officials have confirmed that “the owner of the private plane found crashed in northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning and his wife were killed onboard.”
Flight information shows that the 1997 Piper Saratoga plane had left Sylacauga, Ala., just after 11 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive in Claremore about 2:50 p.m.
According to FAA records, Ivan B. Williams III had purchased the six-seat, single-engine Piper Saratoga from a North Carolina group just over a month ago.
During their flight back on Monday from Alabama, the couple encountered clouds and rain causing most likely poor visibility. Shortly before the plane crash on the Arkansas hillside near Huntsville, air controllers lost communication with the plane.
Some residents who live near the site of the plane crash in Arkansas reported hearing a “boom” around 2:15 p.m. on Monday. Arkansas authorities said the crash site was 13 miles south of Huntsville, near Arkansas 23 and Madison County Road 5320.
According to Flight Aware, a live public aircraft-tracking website, the plane descended 900 feet in the final minute, 2:06 p.m. Its speed increased from 138 mph to 180 mph and its direction changed from west to east.
On Tuesday, around 8:50 a.m., search crews who had been looking for the plane since Monday afternoon, found the plane crashed into the Arkansas hillside. An early investigation has determined that weather may have played a factor “as the plane clipped some treetops before crashing to the ground.”
Among the wreckage of the plane, searchers also found the bodies of the two passengers, 63-year-old Ivan Williams and 52-year-old Adina Williams.
Oklahoma State Sen. Rick Brinkley, who is a longtime family friend, described the victims of the Arkansas plane crash as amazing people. “They were special people. Adina was so kind and loving. I’m just so sick for the family.”
Barbara Hawkins, Pryor Chamber of Commerce president, emphasized that the couple was a valuable asset to the community. “They did a lot of (good) things for people that nobody knew about. They enjoyed life and their children.”
According to a Fox 23 report, many Pryor community members are mourning the loss of the much beloved couple that owned Williams Construction, a company which had single locations in Pryor and Tulsa and provided industrial and heavy construction maintenance for major manufacturing industries. Ivan Williams and his wife Adina celebrated 60 years of business for Williams Construction which spanned over four generations.
Both victims of the Arkansas plane crash had helped to make a local recreation center a reality and funded Centennial Park in Pryor. “It’s a travesty. It’s heart wrenching to lose such pillars to the community. They’ve touched so many different lives and so many different things.”