ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - The coroner's office confirmed the identities of two people who were killed in an aircraft crash near Isle of Palms Wednesday night.
Authorities say 40-year-old Lucas McDowell Smith and 27-year-old Cara Lee Donohue, both of Mount Pleasant, died from blunt force trauma.
Smith was the owner of Osprey Boat Charters and owned the Pelican's dry cleaners store. Donohue also worked for Osprey Charters.
The aircraft crashed around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday on the shore of Dewees Island, 20 miles northeast of Charleston, near Isle of Palms. Both victims were found in the water.
"It started to turn upside down, the wing collapsed and it fell really fast and the person who was in it was alongside of it when it was falling from the sky," said Rene Waters who witnessed the crash.
Waters said that there was a small explosion when the aircraft hit the water.
The flying boat was an unregistered, uncertified vehicle, according to the FAA. The operator was not a certificated pilot, and didn't have to be since he wasn't flying a registered aircraft, the FAA reports.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says the craft involved in the crash was an ultra light Zodiac, which is described as a an experimental plane or flying boat. The FAA says the craft is a light sport aircraft. Authorities say the small craft was destroyed in the crash.
Federal investigators returned to Dewees Island Thursday morning to pull the plane back to shore.
Officials with the Charleston County Rescue Squad, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Isle of Palms Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the incident.