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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (October 10, 2015) – The vice president of engineering at Cook Medical and his daughter died in a plane crash in eastern Tennessee Friday night.

William Gibbons was the pilot of the single-engine, four-seat plane and his daughter Abbey Gibbons was the passenger.

Cook Medical public relations representative Marsha Lovejoy released this statement to FOX59:

Our hearts are heavy today as we learned about the passing of our friend and coworker. Last night, Bill Gibbons, our vice president of engineering, and his daughter were involved in a plane crash near Knoxville, TN. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Gibbons family.

According to the Johnson City Press, the small plane was headed to Bloomington when it crashed near Knoxville, Tennessee around 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Emergency radio communications told the Johnson City Press that traffic controllers at Tri-Cities Regional Airport lost contact with the pilot at about 14,000 feet.

Investigators believe inclement weather was a factor in the crash.

Abbey was a sophomore at Bloomington High School South. According to one of her teachers, she was a stellar French student and a cheerleader. She has a twin brother, and she would have turned 16 in December.

Monroe County Schools Public Information Officer Tim Pritchett released this statement to FOX59:

The Monroe County Community School Corporation and the Bloomington High School South community are deeply saddened by the loss of beloved South student, Abbey Gibbons, and her father, Bill Gibbons. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends, and all those affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with them as we remember and grieve the loss of a wonderful, caring, and exceptional student. Bloomington High School South Principal Mark Fletcher expressed, “We are all in shock and saddened, to say the least, with the news of the Gibbons’ tragic accident.  Such fantastic people who were thought so highly of by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”