The Chief Judge of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, Sanford Joe Jones, was one of two people killed in a Friday morning plane crash in Beauregard, Ala.
According to Lee County coroner Bill Harris, 56-year-old Jones and 18-year-old Sasha Medina of Newnan, Ga., were killed instantly when the single engine Beechcraft Bonanze airplane they were flying in crashed in a field off Lee Road 112 at around 11:45 a.m. CDT.
Jones of Fairburn, Ga. was the pilot. Both Medina and Jones were pronounced dead at the scene at 12:45 p.m. CDT from massive head injuries and multiple blunt force injuries.
Two of the plane's occupants, 18-year-old Joshua Rumohr and 19-year-old Sarah Conklin, both of Newnan, Ga., suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash and were taken to the East Alabama Medical Center for treatment.
According to Harris, the flight originated in Newnan. Jones flew to Destin, Fla. to pick up the three others after they had driven a vehicle to Destin for someone, then began the flight back to Newnan.
As they approached the Opelika-Auburn area, the plane developed engine trouble and Jones radioed for help to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport.
The planes engine quit about two miles from the Auburn-Opelika Airport and Jones reportedly told the passengers he needed to find a field and land.
As the plane approached the hay field in Beauregard, it clipped some trees, causing it to nose-dive into the ground.
There was no fire involved in the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were called to the scene to investigate the crash.
The accident remains under investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Coroner’s Office, NSTB and FAA.