Flight School Owner, Instructor and Student Pilot Killed in Massachusetts Small Plane Crash

The three victims who were killed on Sunday morning were identified on Monday

<p>CBS Boston/ YouTube</p> Small plane crashes in Massachusetts on Jan. 14, 2024.

CBS Boston/ YouTube

Small plane crashes in Massachusetts on Jan. 14, 2024.

Three people were killed in a small plane crash in western Massachusetts Sunday morning, per a Massachusetts State Police (MSP) news release.

“A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 55 crashed in Leyden, Massachusetts, around 12:30 p.m. local time on Sunday,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shared with PEOPLE.

The victims were identified Monday as William Hampton, 68, Frederika Ballard, 53, and Chad Davidson, 29, state police said. Ballard was the Fly Lugu Flight School owner, Hampton was an instructor and Davidson was a student pilot.

Hampton, Ballard and Davidson were the only people on the flight school's plane and were “determined to be deceased by Greenfield Firefighters and American Medical Response paramedics,” per the MSP news release. The three victims were then transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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The crash occurred two hours west of Boston, near the Massachusetts-Vermont border. The MSP reports that “authorities began searching for the crash site at approximately 11:30 AM.” The search began after “Greenfield Police/Fire Dispatch received 911 calls from dog walkers in Leyden and Greenfield reporting a plane that appeared about to crash.”

Upon arrival at the crash site, the MSP Crime Scene Services processed and documented the crash site. An investigation into the crash has begun, with the MSP, Greenfield Police, Northwest District Attorney’s Office, Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board working together.

On Sunday, state troopers remained at the site to provide overnight security.

"The investigator will begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft. The aircraft will then be recovered to a secure facility for further evaluation," NTSB spokesperson Sarah Taylor Sulick told CBS affiliate WBZ-TV. "A preliminary report will be available within 30 days."

An NTSB investigator is set to examine the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment. Additionally, the investigation will gather intel regarding the flight track data, air traffic control communications, aircraft maintenance, weather forecasts, weather and lighting conditions, witness statements, electronic devices and surveillance video, as well as the pilot's license, ratings, recent flight experience and a 72-hour background, reports NBC 10.

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Representatives for the Massachusetts State Police, Greenfield Police, Northwest District Attorney’s Office, and the National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for additional information on Monday.

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