CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Friends close to the father and son killed in Tuesday's plane crash over Berkeley County reflected on the lives of the former Atlanta braves draft pick and his father.
Joe Johnson, 30, was pilot of the Cessna aircraft at the time of the collision. His former coaches say he was first a baseball star, and was often known as the kid with the golden arm.
His father, Michael, was one of his T-ball coaches in Berkeley County and also worked as a longtime vocational teacher.
Landy Cox coached Joe in high school.
"Everything Joe got involved with, he's been successful," Cox said. "He plays baseball, he gets drafted. He had an opportunity to do some modeling, very successful with that."
In 2012, Cosmopolitan magazine featured Joe as one of its "Bachelors to Watch."
Late Wednesday afternoon, Citadel Head Baseball Coach Fred Jordan issued a statement about former cadet and student athlete Joe Johnson.
"This is such a tragedy, and we are hurting for Joe's family," Jordan said in a statement. "Joe followed in his father's footsteps attending The Citadel and was a fine young man who was upbeat and fun to be around. On the mound, he had the ability to throw hard and continued to work toward his goal of being a professional pitcher, which he reached when he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. Joe's impact on our program extended beyond his statistics, and we are deeply saddened by his passing."
The younger Johnson was a member of the Citadel baseball team for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. After redshirting in 2004, he made one appearance for the Bulldogs in 2005. He transferred to Louisburg College and was drafted into the 13th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Atlanta Braves, Citadel spokesman Derek Satterfield said.
Crews recovered the body of Michael Johnson early Wednesday morning, but continued to search for the body of his son at the crash site.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.