A cockpit voice recorder captured the jet’s pilot and co-pilot reacting to a loud noise during an otherwise routine takeoff on Friday from a South Carolina airport, indicating that the crew was unable to control the plane, which burst into flames before slamming into a highway embankment.
The deceased have been identified as pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, co-pilot James Bland, 52, Charles Still, 25–a close friend of both stars–and Barker‘s assistant Chris Baker, 29.
According to a South Carolina coroner, Baker died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck while Still died of an acute subdural hematoma caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
Lemmon and Bland were killed from smoke inhalation and burns.
In a statement released by Barker‘s ex-wife Shanna Moakler–back with him since their 2004 divorce–she says of the tragedy: “There are not enough words to express how thankful we are for the outpouring of love and support we have received during this very difficult time.
“We can only ask for prayers as we heal and mourn the loss of our dear friends who we considered part of our family. Our lives will be changed forever.”
Federal officials have indicated a burst tire as a probable cause for the tragic incident.
COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.