Plane Crash Kills Georgia Men

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February 1, 2008
Mt. Airy, NC--

At least three of the six victims of Friday's private plane crash in northern North Carolina have ties to Republicans in Georgia.

Six people were believed to have been on the plane registered to a company in Dallas, Texas.

The King Air crashed into a neighborhood near the Mt. Airy, NC airport late this morning.

Paulding County, Georgia Republican party chair Darrell Galloway said developer John Wesley Rakestraw was believed to be one of the victims. Rakestraw had held fund raisers for Governor Sonny Perdue.

A Pauling County Commissioner, Hal Echols, and another developer, Steve Simpson, were also killed, according to Galloway.

The plane crashed and split in half in the front yard of a home. No one on the ground was hurt.

Witnesses told a local television station the plane was attempting to land when it missed its approach and tried to circle around. There was fog reported in the area at the time.

The men may have been on the way to a hunting trip in Virginia.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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