Local News

Former State Senator's Son, Family Killed In Plane Crash

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ARARAT, N.C. — Four members of a Bladen County family andtheir baby sitter were killed when their private plane crashed asthey returned home from a wedding.

The five people died when the Beech A-26 went down Saturdayevening in a lightly wooded area on a farm near the MountAiry-Surry County Airport, Surry County emergency services directorJohn Shelton said Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta said the planewas en route to Elizabethtown.

The plane was flown by the son of former state Sen. Oscar Harrisof Dunn.

Shelton identified the victims as Oscar Nathan Harris II, 32, ofWhite Lake; his wife, Lisa, 31; his daughter, Sueanna, 2; and hisson, Oscar Nathan Harris III, who was 10 months old.

The fifth victim was Mary Scoggins, 21, of Elizabethtown.Scoggins was a junior at the University of North Carolina atWilmington and frequently baby sat for the family.

"We have never felt such pain, loss and sorrow," Harris saidin a statement. "... We ask our family, friends and neighbors tocontinue to remember all of us in their prayers."

Shelton said the plane disappeared from radar screens when itwas about three miles out. Wreckage was found about 1-3/4 miles fromthe airport, which is between Mount Airy and Pilot Mountain in thecounty on the Virginia border.

"The assumption is that the plane was trying to get back to theairport because it had gotten into trouble," Shelton said.Investigators had found no record of the pilot making a distresscall, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board was examining the crashsite Sunday. Investigators were being hampered by the remoteness ofthe spot and ground muddy after days of rain, Shelton said.

The plane appeared to crash nose first, but it didn't appearthat the plane burned after hitting the ground, Shelton said.

Aircraft registration records indicate the plane was made in1978 and registered to Harris in December 2001.

Harris was an avid pilot and operated a landscaping businessthat did work for the military, said friend and neighbor H.Goldston Womble Jr. who is the mayor of White Lake.

Harris often would fly to work, Womble said.

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