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4 Hamilton County residents dead following plane crash off Gulf Coast of Florida

Sarasota Plane Crash.jpg
Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-06 15:14:29-04

VENICE, Fla. — Police in Florida are investigating after a small aircraft crash claimed the lives of four Hoosiers.

According to authorities, a Piper PA-32R-300 aircraft carrying Rick Beaver (60) and Bethe Beaver (57) of Noblesville and Patricia Lumpkin (68) and William Lumpkin (64) of Fishers crashed just after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The plane reportedly left St. Petersburg, Florida around 5 p.m. and flew to Venice, Florida. Around 9:35 p.m. the plane left Venice back to St. Petersburg.

Shortly after takeoff from Venice, the plane crashed.

According to authorities, the single-engine plane was operated by William.

Rick and William, who went by Jeff, were found together Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Bethe and Patty were found with the wreckage near the Venice Fishing Pier.

The four individuals left a great impact on their community.

Bethe was the founder and owner of Indiana Elite Cheer and Tumbling in Noblesville.

Bethe Beaver with two Indiana Elite cheerleaders

Cheerleaders remembered Bethe with a memorial outside of the facility Thursday night. They left flowers and hung posters that stated what Bethe meant to them.

Bethe Beaver memorial

Jeff and Patty impacted the lives of those who attended church with them at Life Church.

“You never know exactly how much time is left for you,” Nathan Peternel, the lead pastor at Life Church, said. “But if I was going to live my life not knowing when my last day was going to be, if I was living it like Jeff and Patty, I’d be living it with a lot of purpose.”

Jeff Lumpkin and Nathan Peternel

Peternel met Jeff through the church. The two went to breakfast together one morning where Jeff talked more about his passion for leadership and flying.

“I knew him through his love for flying,” Peternel said. “He ended up becoming a mentor in my son’s life, and anybody who reaches out to your son has your heart. My son is in the military. He wants to be a pilot, so Jeff began to mentor him towards learning what to do and the order of things.”

WFTS in Tampa assisted WRTV in this report.