Three airmen were killed in a plane crash in Tennessee on Tuesday, the Air National Guard said.
The crash happened in McMinnville, Tennessee, about 75 miles southeast of Nashville.
The guard identified the victims as Lt. Col. Shelli Huether; Capt. Jessica Wright; and Senior Master Sgt. Scott Bumpus. All three were members of the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 118th Wing.
The Air National Guard did not provide details of what caused the accident. A witness reported seeing the plane try to return to the airport before the crash, according to NBC Nashville affiliate WSMV. The three airmen were flying a Piper PA 28, licensed to the Lebanon Flying Club that left from the McMinnville airport, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
“Words cannot begin to explain the shock, grief, pain and dismay we feel having lost three remarkable members of our Guard family,” Col. Todd Wiles, commander of the 118th Wing, said Wednesday in a press release. “All three were dedicated to the service of our nation. Their families are in our hearts and our prayers.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee tweeted his condolences, saying Wednesday that he was “incredibly saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of three Airmen in yesterday’s accident.”