By Alyssa Schnugg
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and Union County Emergency Management were on scene this morning where a plane crashed Saturday evening that claimed three lives.
The plane took off from the University-Oxford Airport in Oxford around 4:15 p.m. headed to Hamilton, Alabama, when it crashed off County Road 120 outside of New Albany, according to Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards.
Edwards said the sheriff’s department received word a plane went down around 5 p.m.; however, the wreckage wasn’t found until about 10:30 p.m. Edwards said the plane went down in a heavily wooded rural area.
Edwards said the victims were identified as Tommy Nix, the pilot, and his wife Merline Nix of Belmont and co-pilot Jarrod Holloway of Booneville.
In a recorded television interview on WMC5, Unions County EMS Director Curt Clayton said Nix informed air traffic control he was having some electrical problems with the 10-passenger North American Sabreliner twin-engine jet. A few minutes later, Clayton said air traffic control lost contact with Nix.
“They’re our neighbors,” Edwards said. “They are Mississippians and live close by. And we just continue to pray for them.”
According to a story in the Clarion-Ledger Monday, Oxford resident Dickie Scruggs was on the plane prior to the crash but was dropped off in Oxford before the plane continued to Alabama. Scruggs, who is also a pilot, said he and Nix often flew together.