Pilot killed when his plane crashed into Lake Hartwell identified

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland has released the name of the pilot killed last weekend when his plane crashed into Lake Hartwell.

He is 55-year-old Todd Jeffrey Carrell of North Port, Florida.

Carrell took off from the Punta Gorda airport, in Florida Saturday morning, September 10 on his way to the Anderson Regional Airport in SC.

There was rain in our area and witnesses at the lake told WSB TV that at about 12:30 p.m. that day, they saw Carrell’s Beechcraft Baron B55 twin-engine circling the lake.

Witnesses said the plane went straight up into the clouds and spiraled down plunging into the lake.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management responded to the scene with an underwater ROV (remote operated vehicle) along with Oconee County South Carolina Dive Team.

They found the plane in 121 feet of water tangled in trees below the surface, but they were unable to recover Carrell’s body because the plane’s doors were jammed in the treetops.

The National Transportation Safety Board took over the recovery efforts and last Thursday they along with the plane’s insurance company contracted with Atlanta Air Recovery, Bill Roth of Upstate Dock Repair and Diving Specialists from Lake Jocassee to remove the plane from the water.

Last Thursday, using giant flotation devices, they were able to raise the plane and remove the body of Carrell.

Sheriff Cleveland said the plane’s wreckage was taken to the NTSB hangar in Atlanta and the investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash is still ongoing.

The Sheriff said the recovery operation was a unique and challenging incident and he sends a special thanks to all agencies involved from Georgia and South Carolina for the group effort in recovering Carrell.