4 Tennessee church members die in Texas plane crash

The wreckage of a small plane appears in a field off Route 462 on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, near Yoakum, Texas. (Chase Cofield/Victoria Attorney via AP)Chase Cofield/AP

YOAKUM, TX (AP) — A small plane crashed while approaching a Texas airport on Tuesday, killing four church members in Tennessee and injuring the chief pastor, authorities and the church said.

A single-engine Piper PA-46 crashed in an open field south of Yoakum Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Yoakum, a city of about 6,000 people, is about 100 miles (160 km) east of San Antonio.

One of the five people on board was able to get out of the plane and was taken to a hospital in Victoria, Sgt. Ruben San Miguel of the Texas Department of Public Safety told the Victorian attorney. Victoria is about 40 miles (65 km) south of Yoakum.

Harvest Church, located in the Memphis suburb of Germantown, said lead pastor Kennon Vaughan is in a stable condition in a Texas hospital.

The church identified the four killed as Bill Garner, the church’s executive vice president; Steve Tucker, church elder; and Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer.

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