Attorney for Walker County plane owner speaks out

The attorney for a Walker County man whose plane crashed New Year's Day killing three teenagers on board said Monday his client didn't approve the late-night flight.

Tuesday's crash killed 17-year-old Jordan Smith, 17-year-old Jordan Montgomery, and 19-year-old Brandon Ary. Smith left the Walker County Airport around 10:30 pm, and the plane crashed a mile away.

Jasper-based attorney Herbie Brewer said Jasper businessman Ray Whitworth owned the Piper PA 30 but didn't give Smith permission to fly it that night. Smith's mother claimed Whitworth gave her son the keys.

"This plane doesn't require a key at all to fly it," said Brewer.

He added that his client had given Smith a ride in plane previously but had never given him a ride in the plane that crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was not registered to fly, but Brewer said his client planned to get it registered with the FAA.

A preliminary report on the accident has not been released by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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