BARTOW, Fla. – A prominent Lakeland lawyer, his daughters, son-in-law and a family friend were killed Christmas Eve morning as their plane crashed amid heavy fog.
The twin-engine plane went down just after takeoff around 7:15 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24 at Polk County's Bartow Municipal Airport., Sheriff Grady Judd said, with emergency operators receiving a call minutes later.
The group was en route to Key West for a day trip to celebrate Christmas Eve.
The 70-year-old pilot was a prominent lawyer in Lakeland. Shannon was also active in the community in Kiwanis, as the president of the Republican Club of Lakeland and as a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church.
The former Marine was also involved with local organizations that supported veterans, said Katherine Gates-Skipper, a Marine veteran herself. She says it's how they connected as she held a Marine challenge coin Shannon had gifted her just a few years ago.
“He made a difference and it's important because it's people like him that spread the cheer and make the difference," she said as she choked up, unable to finish her thought.
The 24-year-old student at Southeastern University in Lakeland was Shannon's daughter.
A close friend, who shared a picture of Olivia with 10News, said she had been studying elementary education.
Victoria Shannon Worthington
A school teacher in Baltimore, 26-year-old Victoria Shannon Worthington had just arrived in town the night prior from Maryland to celebrate Christmas with the family.
According to the Baltimore School District website, she taught fourth grade English Language Arts.
Victoria's husband Peter also flew in from Baltimore on Saturday, according to Sheriff Judd.
Peter Worthington Jr.
Worthington was a passenger on Shannon's plane Sunday morning.
Sheriff Judd said he was a law student at the University of Maryland.
He and Victoria were newlyweds.
Krista Clayton was a family friend who joined the group Sunday morning for a day trip to Key West. The 32-year-old was a teacher at Jewett School of Art Academy. She was also the mother of an 18-month-old and 3-year-old, Sheriff Judd said.