Victims of Brunswick plane crash identified

2 men flying from North Carolina to Craig Airport went down near Brunswick

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Authorities have identified the two people killed when a plane went down in a marsh along the Brunswick coastline as residents Jacksonville and Alabama.

Glynn County police says an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified them as 28-year-old Andres Santiago Lopez, who lived in Jacksonville, and 31-year-old Adam Christopher Griffis.

Griffis was raised in Prattville and graduated from Prattville High School, his relatives told Alabama television station WSFA-TV. He had dual citizenship in the United States and Chile and had a love of flying, they said.

"He had his single-prop license and wanted to upgrade it to a dual-prop license," said his sister-in-law, Jennifer Griffis. "A lot of people in Prattville and this area knew him and loved him."

Susie Szasz, Griffis' aunt, said her nephew touched the lives of so many people. She said this was not the first plane crash he was involved in. He survived another one many years ago, and after that he became a missionary, traveling the world.

"He did do some missions work and touched a lot of lives as he went from place to place," Szasz said.

She said she already misses Griffis but finds comfort in knowing she'll see him again.

"He's a good Christian boy and I'm thankful of that because I know someday because he accepted Christ as his savior, I know some day I will see him again," Szasz said.

LISTEN: 911 callers hear plane, engine trouble
IMAGES: Search, recovery of downed plane

Szasz said Griffis was a proud husband and father and even spent time in his second home of Chile teaching English.

"The fact that he touched people as a Christian man and his step-children loved him and his son loved him, and like I said, he's a good son to his mother, and that says a lot about a man," Szasz said.

She said whenever she would see Griffis, he would always instantly give her a big hug and wanted her to know how much he cared about her.

The twin-engine Piper Seminole aircraft Griffis and Lopez were in was flying from Concord, N.C. to Jacksonville when it went down late Monday afternoon just northeast of the the Marshes of McKay neighborhood. 

"I heard it, sounded like it was backfiring. It almost sounded like an explosion," one caller told the Glynn County 911 operator.

After a two-day search, the wreckage was found in a marshy area known as Wally's Leg.

When the fuselage was lifted out of the 12-foot-deep creek on Wednesday afternoon, the two victims were still strapped into their seats.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the plane was registered to ATP Flight School based at Craig Airport and the journey from North Carolina to Florida was part of its training program.

The remains of the aircraft were taken to a warehouse in Atlanta, where federal investigators will attempt to determine the cause of the crash.  

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