Calhoun County mourns the loss of plane crash victims

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In a small community, where everyone knows everyone, when one person grieves, many others grieve, too. That’s what is happening as news of the death of Randy McCroan, 56, and Steve Mears, 48, spreads across Calhoun County. The two men were killed in a plane crash Tuesday evening at the Calhoun County Airport.

“You feel that closeness and what not, with all the people in the county,” Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel said. “If you’re not related, you’re friends with them.”

Randy McCroan and Mears were two of four people in the personal plane when it crashed as it was taking off at the airport. The two other men on the plane, Greyson McCroan, 24, and Devin Ferrell, 28, are fighting for their lives. Now Calhoun County residents are coming together to honor and remember McCroan and Mears. McCroan was a Sheriff’s Lieutenant and a School Resource Deputy.

“Fun-loving, had your back, was just somebody you could count on, loved people, loved kids,” Superintendent of Schools Darryl Taylor said of McCroan.

“So yesterday was actually his last work day,” Kimbrel said. “When asked what are you going to do now that you’re retiring, [McCroan said] ‘I’m going to go and enjoy life.’”

Mears was a local business owner.

“He was so ready to do anything and everything for anyone,” Kimbrel said. “He never said no.”

“He’s been a tremendous asset to Altha School over the years,” Taylor said.

Both Mears and McCroan will be remembered for their dedication to local kids and Altha Public School, and a memorial has been set up outside the school to remember the duo.

Another memorial is set up at the Calhoun County Airport, where the flag is also flying at half-staff.

“I still think ultimately, people, we will all be thankful to have known them, and had the opportunity to work and be around them,” Taylor said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. We will continue to share those details as they become available.

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