Gwen Shamblin Lara among '7 passengers presumed dead’ in Tennessee plane wreck after diet guru's private jet crashes
CHRISTIAN diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara is presumed dead along with six others aboard a private jet that crashed into a Tennessee lake, according to reports
Officials released the names of all seven people they believe were aboard the small plane when it crashed into water in Smyrna on Saturday morning.
"All indications are that a total of seven people were on board," a release from Rutherford County officials said. All are presumed dead, the statement said.
The victims are believed to be William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah, according to the statement.
Shamblin Lara founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in 1999 and is the author of The Weigh Down Diet.
The Federal Aviation Administration told WTVF that the plane departed from the Smyrna Rutherford County Airport just before 11am before crashing into Percy Priest Lake.
It was reportedly bound for Palm Beach International Airport.
The plane was registered to JL&GL Productions LP, which Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara own together, the outlet reported.
What we know so far:
- Authorities said all 7 people aboard the plane are 'presumed dead'
- The small plane was registered to a company owned by Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara
- Shamblin Lara's daughter reportedly sent a text to Remnant Church members saying the plane had to go down "for a controlled, quick landing"
- Authorities released the names of the 7 people believed to be on the flight
- Crews were continuing recovery efforts through the night
Shamblin Lara's daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, reportedly sent out a text message to Remnant church members asking for prayers.
She said that the plane had to go down "for a controlled, quick landing," according to the outlet.
Hannah also said that the Laras were on the plane with other church leaders: the Martins, the Walters, and her own husband, Brandon.
"More information to come, but be in prayer — and be at peace," Hannah's message continues.
"GOD IS IN CONTROL, and we will not stop moving forward with WHAT GOD WANTS with this church."
In a statement to The Sun, the Remnant Fellowship Church said the families were still awaiting word from the authorities on Saturday evening.
"The Shamblins, Hannahs, and Laras appreciate your concern, support and prayers," the statement said. "The families are awaiting details from the authorities.
"The families will share details at the appropriate time."
Rutherford County Fire Rescue confirmed that multiple agencies responded to the crash site around 11am on Saturday.
"Multiple agencies on scene of a small jet that crashed into Percy Priest Lake around 11:00 a.m. FAA & NTSB en route," the squad wrote in a tweet.
"Dive Teams determining extent of crash site, examining the debris field, & conducting search & rescue. Boaters and private aircraft urged to stay clear of area."
In an update on Saturday night, the rescue squad confirmed that recovery efforts at the lake would continue through the night.
Shamblin Lara's website describes her as a "pioneer of faith-based weight loss."
She published a post to her blog on Saturday morning, apparently before the plane departed, where she wrote that, "God does not want us to worry about the food's content."
"Jesus taught us that it is not the food that defiles us, but rather the attitudes and thoughts that we have in our hearts and in our minds that will corrupt and destroy us," the blog says.
"It is the greed in our hearts that leads to overeating and overdrinking."
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