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Family, friends react to deaths of 4 from Hamilton County in Florida plane crash

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Family and friends of William and Patricia Lumpkin of Fishers and Rick and Bethe Beaver of Noblesville are mourning the couples’ deaths after a Wednesday night plane crash in Florida killed the four Hamilton County residents.

Randy Burrow, Rick Beaver’s first cousin, said the couple will be missed in the family and the community. He said they grew up together. “The Beaver family has been in Noblesville for four, five generations. We were close. I would say more close than what you see modern families are now.”

Burrow said the Beaver family is a group of entrepreneurs. Bethe ran Indiana Elite Cheer & Tumbling in Noblesville. Families she coached gathered Thursday outside the gym to grieve after learning the news.

Ricky was the president of Beaver Construction Management.

Burrow said, “Rick was just part of it. He and Bethe both were just part of the Noblesville community. So missed, yeah.”

William Lumpkin — known as “Jeff” to his pastor, Nathan Peternel — was an avid pilot. Both William and his wife were known for giving back in the community.

“He was a good pilot,” Peternel said. “He was by the book, by the book always, very safety oriented, very regulation.”

Peternel says Patricia was a real estate agent who was always willing to help. “She’d bend over backward to help people out. She’d wave fees in order to get families into something to help get families into something when they need it.”

Burrow wanted to remind everyone to live each day to the fullest in this time of sadness. “You’ve got to spend every day like it’s your last because you never know when it’s over.”

Florida authorities say the two couples were having dinner in Venice, Florida, before returning back to St. Petersburg in the plane. They crashed about 3 minutes after taking off at 9:35 pm.

All four bodies were recovered Wednesday night and Thursday morning from the Gulf of Mexico.

News release


“The deceased males recovered Wednesday night following the plane crash ½ mile west of the Venice Fishing Pier have been identified as pilot William Jeffrey Lumpkin, 64, of Fishers, Ind., and passenger Ricky Joe Beaver, 60, of Noblesville, Ind. A debris field was also located Wednesday night. Rescue teams did not locate the plane or any other passengers last night. Divers were unable to be deployed until Thursday morning.

“At 11:56 a.m. Thursday, divers located the main portion of the aircraft, a single-engine Piper PA-32R, as well as the bodies of two females believed to be the males’ spouses – Patricia Ann Lumpkin, 68, also of Fishers, and Elizabethe Anne Beaver, 57, of Noblesville. The wreckage is at a depth of approximately 23 feet.

“As far as a timeline of events, the airplane left an airport in St. Petersburg last night and flew to Venice Airport, arriving around 5 p.m. The occupants met with friends and had dinner at Sharky’s On the Pier restaurant. They left Venice Airport at approximately 9:35 p.m. and crashed into the Gulf soon after takeoff. They were intending on returning to St. Pete via Albert Whitted Airport.

“VPD has been in contact with the victims’ families and our hearts certainly go out to them.”

Venice Police Department on Facebook