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Two killed in plane crash near Marlin identified

Texas Department of Public Safety received a call on April 5 around 12:40 p.m. about a plane crash sighting in a field.

MARLIN, Texas — Two people who died in a plane crash April 5 in Marlin have been identified as Thomas Sands Jr., 55, of Sugar Land, and Cinnamon Franklin, 27, of Greenwood, Indiana, as stated in the report.

Texas Department of Public Safety received a call around 12:40 p.m. about a plane crash sighting in a field. The Cessna plane was located east of the Marlin Airport near CR 134, according to Texas DPS. 

Credit: Ryan Fite
Credit: Ryan Fite
Credit: Ryan Fite
Credit: Ryan Fite

The plane was flying from Houston Executive Airport to Waco Regional Airport, according to the FAA. Both Sands and Franklin died at the scene, according to Texas DPS.

Based on posts to her Facebook page, Franklin received her commercial pilot license in December, 2021.

She previously worked at Greenwood Airport in Indianapolis, according to posts on her Facebook page.

Sands was a West Point graduate and retired Colonel, according to Harry Johnson, who is President of the US Flight Club at the Houston Executive Airport. 

Johnson said aviation was Sands' second career.

"It was his love," Johnson said. "He always wanted to fly and he was a member of our club for many years."

Johnson said Sands was piloting the plane while Franklin was his observer.

"He was an amazing man, always had a smile on his face" Johnson said. "He was a very, very, very good pilot, so don't know what happened."

Sands leaves behind a wife and daughter, according to Johnson.

Credit: Houston Executive Airport
Thomas Sands, pictured here, in photo provided by the Houston Executive Airport

Johnson said Sands and Franklin worked for New Era Technology. He said it was Franklin's first day on the job. 6 News reached out to the company but we had not received a response as of 2 p.m.

Credit: Ryan Fite
Credit: Ryan Fite

DPS Sgt. Ryan Howard told 6 News Tuesday that the FAA will lead the investigation alongside National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB will provide additional updates, as reported.

There is no other information at this time.

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