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3 Presumed Dead in S.C. Plane Crash

November 21, 2002

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BONNEAU, S.C. (AP) _ Divers searching for a small plane that crashed in a large lake recovered one body and parts of the cockpit Wednesday, authorities said.

The homemade plane crashed in about 50 feet of water more than a mile from shore Tuesday and was thought to be carrying three people, including a prominent local businessman.

The body recovered was not immediately identified, said Mike Willis, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Eugene Ott, 72, his son Vincent and family friend Bob Taylor were aboard a plane that had not been accounted for, said Ott’s wife, Freda Turner Ott.

``I’m numb,″ she said. ``The Lord is giving me strength. I still have hope.″

A senior partner in Sing Heating Co., Eugene Ott often appeared in the company’s television commercials.

Pieces of the plane brought to shore Tuesday night included a piece of the cockpit door with the word ``Experimental,″ required on kit planes not built by a manufacturing company.

``It happened so quick. We saw stuff floating in the water,″ said Tom Hall, one of three fishermen who saw the plane crash in Lake Moultrie. Bonneau is about 40 miles north of Charleston.

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