— A plane crash claimed the lives of four Decatur County residents Sunday evening.
Confirmed dead in the crash were Donald P. Horan, 46, his wife Barbara L. Horan, 44, Stephen A. Butz, 45, and his wife Denise L. Butz, 42. The four were returning from a weekend vacation in Destin, Fla., according to reports. The aircraft was a PA-46 Piper Malibu capable of seating six adults.
According to reports from Greensburg Police Department (GPD) Detective Bill Meyerrose, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department (DCSD) received an emergency call at approximately 6:19 p.m. Sunday from a local resident claiming a plane had crashed.
At about 6:30 p.m., the GPD received a call from the FAA asking if an investigation into the missing aircraft was being conducted. The plane had been tracked via radar, but the signal had been lost approximately one and a half to two miles south of the Greensburg Municipal Airport. The Decatur County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) was contacted at the same time.
More than 100 law enforcement officials and emergency responders from fire departments throughout Decatur and neighboring counties soon arrived at the Decatur County fairgrounds and set up a makeshift emergency operations center in the fair buildings.
Emergency personnel from Decatur, Bartholomew, Ripley, Rush, Jennings, Shelby and Hamilton counties assisted at the scene. After hours of searching, the missing aircraft was finally located at approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunday night.
Det. Meyerrose confirmed the four casualties shortly after midnight.
Responders used ATVs to reach the crash site, which was located near County Road 200 West, about a mile east of the Greensburg Municipal Airport.
Det. Meyerrose told media the families of the victims had been notified late Sunday evening, but he declined to release the names of those killed in the crash until Monday afternoon.
Decatur County Coroner Charity Banks arrived on the scene early Monday morning. The crash site had been secured overnight Sunday, according to Monday morning police reports.