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911 calls for deadly plane crash in St. Marys River released

Witnesses said they saw the plane crash nose down into the river and sink quickly.

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. — 911 calls give some insight into what happened in the moments after a plane crashed into the St. Marys River Friday. The crash killed the two people onboard the plane.

The call came into the Camden County dispatch center at 11:06 a.m. Friday.

RELATED: Pilot, 18-year-old student from Fernandina Beach recovered from St. Marys River after plane crash

"I just saw a plane crash right across from the St. Mary's downtown," Frank Campbell, who witnessed the crash, told a dispatcher.

"It was a small, white plane that went in nose down," a woman is heard saying on the call in the background.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, the Cessna single-engine plane had an unknown malfunction that caused the plane to lose control and crash.

"We heard like a poof, like a boom. Then, we had just a couple moments and we start heading that way, but we don't see it," Campbell said.

"You don't see anybody?" the operator asked.

"No, we don't see anybody," Campbell replied.

Eighteen-year-old Alexis George and her flight instructor, 66-year-old David Cuttino, both from Fernandina Beach, died in the crash.

"It was really hard, especially coming back and seeing the family here," Jennifer Campbell, Frank Campbell's wife, said. "I feel really bad for them and I’m just sorry for them."

Jennifer Campbell said they hopped in their boat with friend Caroline Schuepbach and her husband after witnessing the crash from the dock. In the two minutes, though, she said it took to get to the plane, it was already submerged. 

"Oh my God! We see flight itinerary stuff. We’re going to try to grab some of this paperwork that’s in the water right here," Frank Campbell told the operator.

Jennifer Campbell and Schuepbach said they found some other belongings among the debris.

“There was a headset that was destroyed," Schuepbach said. "It was hard to see."

The FHP, FAA and the NTSB are all still investigating. The community is holding a sunrise vigil Wednesday morning for George at six a.m. at beach access point 31 in Fernandina Beach.

Friday, the community will hold a vigil for George and Cuttino at Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport where their plane took off at 8 p.m. 

You can listen to the 911 calls below.

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