In the early morning hours of a Sunday in 1984, a small plane broke up over the skies between Canton and Ball Ground, leaving behind wreckage along a mile-long path and all five people aboard dead.
Around 4:30 a.m. on June 24, Cherokee emergency officials received a call from Mark Blackwell, who found two bodies in his yard. A half-mile away, the plane wreckage held the other three.
Investigators traced the path of the plane by the debris left behind: from the Etowah River to spots near East Cherokee Drive on Coker’s Chapel Road. “The plane was traveling south when it crossed the river and came across Coker’s Chapel and turned left and headed northeast over the home of Blackwell, before impacting on-half mile from his home,” an EMS official told the Cherokee Tribune at the time.
The single-engine Piper Cherokee 6 had been flying from Tennessee, and the pilot had not filed a flight plan, according to Associated Press reports. Those on board were all from Tennessee.
Apparently, the plane had hit a tree and then began to disintegrate in the air. The FAA later said the pilot had been under investigation for flying without a license or with only a student’s license.