BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Four people from Dickson County were injured when their single-engine light aircraft crashed Thursday afternoon just outside of Birmingham, Alabama.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said the fiery crash occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday on Highway 52, near Helena.
Pilot Dan Smith, wife Sharon Smith, their son Andy Smith and his 17-year-old girlfriend Katie Hargrove were aboard the Piper PA-32 aircraft when it crashed near the Bessemer airport, where it was attempting to land because of engine trouble. The four were flying back to the Dickson Municipal Airport from Panama City, Florida.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s officials said the plane’s engine somehow went out. A good Samaritan was able to free them from the wrecked plane.
"They were upside down trying to get out the door, and it was all on fire," said Duane Lovelady, who witnessed the crash. "He said, 'get my wife, get my wife,' and I dragged his wife onto the grass. Then I got the kids, the girl and the boy."
Dan Smith, his son and Hargrove were all listed in fair condition at UAB Hospital. Sharon was listed in critical condition Friday morning.
The Smiths own Dickson Athletic Club and O'Rourke's Irish Pub. Friends said the family is well-known in the community.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)