FROM STAFF REPORTS
SPICEWOOD — The Highland Lakes community is mourning the loss of three of its residents after a plane crashed Feb. 21 into a shopping mall near Melbourne, Australia, according to media reports.
Russ Munsch, John Washburn, and Greg DeHaven, all of the Barton Creek Lakeside community, close friend Glenn Garland, and an Australian pilot had just left the airport en route to Tasmania for a golf game when the crash occurred at about 9 a.m. (Australian time).
Media outlets released dramatic footage of the aircraft in its descent just seconds before it struck the shopping outlet.
All four passengers and the pilot died at the scene.
“We have just learned that four of our Barton Creek family have lost their lives in a tragic plane crash in Melbourne, Australia,” said Barton Creek Lakeside resident Sandy Williams in a POA news alert to residents in the golf community, located on the Burnet and Travis county line between Marble Falls and Austin.
“Prayers are desperately needed … (for their) families for strength, courage, and faith to cope with this sudden loss,” Williams added.
Initial reports indicated the plane, believed to be a twin-engine Beechcraft-200 King Air, suffered “catastrophic engine failure.”
Reports revealed the chartered aircraft was headed from Melbourne to King Island, located about 150 miles offshore near Tasmania.
The crash reportedly happened shortly after takeoff.
DeHaven was a retired FBI agent. Munsch was an attorney and founder of an Austin firm.
No one was inside the mall at the time of the crash.
The incident is under investigation by the the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.