Surgeon and 2 Children Killed in Plane Crash: 'The Tragedy That This Family Has Endured Is Unimaginable'

"Our hearts are devastated for the Smith family," a Paradise Independent School District official said in a statement

<p>Linkedin</p> Dr. Heath Smith


Dr. Heath Smith

A surgeon and two children have died after a plane crash in Parker County, Texas, over the weekend, according to officials.

Based on preliminary info shared with PEOPLE, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that a twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed near Poolville around 1:15 p.m. local time on Sunday with three people aboard.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the plane crashed into a pasture, reported the Wise County Messenger. According to Flight Aware, the plane took off from Dimmit County Airport at 10:58 a.m. and was scheduled to arrive at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport shortly after noon.

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The victims, who were pronounced dead at the scene, were identified as Dr. Heath Smith and two children, 6 and 8, according to the Wise County Messenger and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Texas Department of Public Safety declined to say whether the kids were Smith's children, but did tell the Wise County Messenger that all of the passengers had "the same last name.”  However, CBS affiliate KTVT reported that Paradise school officials confirmed that Smith and two of his children died in the crash.

Smith was piloting the airport at the time, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Related: 1 Dead After Homemade ‘Experimental Plane’ Crashes and Collides with Tree

Smith served as a school board vice president for the Paradise Independent School District.

"Our hearts are devastated for the Smith family. Words cannot fully express the grief that we feel for their loss," school district’s superintendent Will Brewer said in a statement shared with KTVT.

"The tragedy that this family has endured is unimaginable. Dr. Smith was a vital part of our school district as an alumnus, parent, and board member," Brewer added. "He was passionate about his love for Paradise ISD and his impact on students and staff will be long lasting. Please keep the Smith family in your prayers."

Related: 2 Passengers Survive Small Plane Crash That Ended in Fiery Blaze on North Carolina Highway

Smith was born and raised in Paradise and attended Texas A&M University at College Station, according to his biography at My Bariatric Solutions, where he was employed.

He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree, and performed his residency at Virginia Tech/Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, per the bio, which stated that his areas of surgical exercise included bariatric, colonoscopy, colorectal and surgical oncology.

Related: Utah Man Dies in Plane Crash with Girlfriend Decades After His Father Died in Similar Incident

The Texas Department of Public Safety, Paradise Independent School District and My Bariatric Solutions did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

An investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Board is ongoing.

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