A father, mother and their four children died when a small plane crashed in a remote rural area of Florida Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the Pilatus PC-12/47 aircraft went down in the Tiger Creek Swamp near Lake Wales around 12:30 p.m. The area is southeast of Lakeland in central Florida.
The victims were listed as the aircraft’s pilot, Ronald Bramlage, 45, Rebecca Bramlage, 43, and their four children. Officials have located the bodies of three of the children and were still searching for the fourth, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement..
The aircraft was owned by Roadside Ventures LLC of Junction City, Kan. Ronald Bramlage was the owner of Roadside Ventures, authorities said.
The plane took off from the Treasure Cay airport in the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas and made a stop at the St. Lucie County International Airport in Fort Pierce, Fla., to clear customs. The plane then took off for Junction City at 12:05 p.m. with two adults and four children on board, authorities said.
Officials said the plane began to break apart over southeast Polk County and crashed.
The crash area is in a remote area and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office used helicopters to fly in law enforcement and medical personnel.
Parts of the aircraft were found as far as two miles away from the crash site. Officials say that the parts separated before the crash and that the plane was traveling at 26,000 feet when it began experiencing trouble.
The victims were listed as the aircraft’s pilot, Ronald Bramlage, 45, Rebecca Bramlage, 43, and their four children. Officials have located the bodies of three of the children and are still searching for the fourth.
The cause of the crash has not been determined.