Victim in Percy Priest Lake plane crash described as ‘giving, selfless person’


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn (WKRN) — The investigation into last week’s Rutherford County plane crash continues. The seven victims were reportedly heading to Palm Beach International airport to attend a rally in Florida when they took off from the Smyrna airport Saturday morning.

Christie Hutcherson is the founder of Women Fighting for America. Her organization hosted a “We The People” Patriot’s Day rally in Martin County, Florida on Sunday.

Hutcherson says few weeks ago Gwen Lara, one of the victims of the plane crash, became a sponsor of WFFA and was on her way to the event when that small aircraft fell from the sky into Percy Priest Lake.

“I’ve never met Gwen in person. But we were so looking forward to meeting each other,” Hutcherson said. “We had a private speaker dinner for sponsors and the speakers on our team Saturday night. So [Gwen] and her guests were flying in for that and then were going to attend the rally on Sunday.”

Officials confirm the bodies of four men and three women have been recovered from Percy Priest Lake. The Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood identified the seven victims as members of their congregation.

  • William J. Lara
  • Gwen Shamblin Lara
  • Jennifer J. Martin
  • David L. Martin
  • Jessica Walters
  • Jonathan Walters
  • Brandon Hannah

Hutcherson says she still held the rally on Sunday after Lara’s family members and church members encouraged her not to cancel. They had seven chairs roped off to honor each victim.

“I really believe that Gwen was this amazing woman who had this bigger than life personality and was the most generous caring giving selfless person,” Hutcherson said. “So, we are just so deeply saddened, and our hearts and our prayers go out to the family and friends.”

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