4 Dickson residents hospitalized after plane crashes on way home from Florida vacation

Sharon and Dan Smith (from Facebook)

Sharon and Dan Smith (from Facebook)

Andy Smith (from Facebook)

Andy Smith (from Facebook)

Katey Hargrove (from Facebook)

Katey Hargrove (from Facebook)

Four Dickson residents remain hospitalized in Alabama following a plane crash Thursday afternoon south of Birmingham. Police say two men who heard the single-engine plane crash pulled the pilot and passengers from the aircraft just moments before it was fully engulfed in flames. Dickson business owners Dan and Sharon Smith, their 19-year-old son Andy and his 17-year-old girlfriend Katey Hargrove were on their way to the Dickson Municipal Airport from Panama City, Fla., when the plane went down just before 2 pm in Helena, about one mile from the Bessemer Airport. 56-year-old Dan Smith reportedly suffered a broken hand and foot and is listed in good condition. 52-year-old Sharon Smith suffered a punctured lung and is listed in serious condition. Andy Smith, a 2013 Dickson County High School graduate, is listed in serious condition with what is reported to be a fractured pelvis and possible spinal fracture. The daughter of Joyce Norman and Vince Hargrove, DCHS senior Katey Hargrove was scheduled to undergo surgery either Thursday night or Friday morning for a fractured vertebra. Det. Sgt. Chris Rollan of the Helena Police Department said Duane Lovelady and Ralph Watkins were outside when they heard the plane crash in a yard in the 4500 block of South Shades Crest Road in the Dancing Daylilly Garden. The two men ran to the scene where Lovelady said they discovered the plane upside down with the front end separated and flames approaching the cockpit. Lovelady reports Dan Smith shouted for them to get his wife and other passengers out first and then he was pulled out just before flames consumed the plane. Lovelady said Smith told him he experienced engine trouble and was trying to reach the Bessemer airport when he realized they were going to crash and shut the plane’s engine off to stay away from houses. The plane clipped trees and crashed behind a home. Rollan credited Lovelady with saving the plane’s occupants but also said Smith did everything he could to avoid injuries or additional damage on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration identified the plane as a 1978 model Piper PA-32 owned by Cougar Aviation LLC of Dickson, which has a business address of 100 Payne Springs Road, the address of Smith’s other businesses. The Smiths own Dickson Athletic Club, O’Rourke’s Irish Pub and Dan Smith recently obtained a beer license to open House of Brews craft beer house on Main Street in downtown. A former Special Forces member and national judo champion, Smith recently consulted with a special committee reviewing security procedures in the Dickson County school system. The FAA is investigating the crash.