Savannah Sims and her longtime boyfriend, Morgen Smith, loved to travel the world together.
They had just celebrated their fourth anniversary in January, according to the 23-year-old Atlanta woman’s family. In 2020, Sims set goals for herself to visit at least two new cities and try something new along the way.
On Saturday morning, Sims and Smith were headed to Nashville in a twin-engine jet piloted by Smith’s father, Roy. Another pilot friend, Ray Sluk, was along for the journey.
Their plane crashed in a remote area of Gordon County about 30 minutes after taking off from Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field in Peachtree City.
All four died in the crash.
“We will forever miss our beloved Savannah but know she is watching over us,” her sister, Gabby Sims, said Wednesday in a statement to AJC.com. “This may just be a news story for others, but she is everything to us.”
Sims attended Flowery Branch High School and graduated from Georgia State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and risk management. On her personal blog, Sims said she was looking forward to starting a full-time job in 2020 and making new friends. Among her goals for the year was to read a new book each month.
“Now that I am out of school, I don’t want to just stop learning, I want to continue to test my critical thinking and try new things any chance that I get,” she said in her first blog post, published Jan. 1.
Sims was working at St. Benedict’s Episcopal School in Smyrna and with an Atlanta event planning company, according to her family. They described her as outgoing, charismatic and generous to the less fortunate.
With her boyfriend, Sims enjoyed attending Atlanta United games and spending time with their families, her sister Gabby said.
“Savannah will be missed for her bright personality, baking desserts and unconditional love,” she said. “Her years were short, but the memories of her will last a lifetime.”
Morgen Smith, 25, and his father, Roy, 68, were also from metro Atlanta. Sluk, 63, of Senoia, retired from FedEx as a vice president and from Falcon Aviation Academy, a local flight school, as president.
He was a husband, father and grandfather, according to his online obituary.
Authorities have not said what caused the crash. The Cessna Citation plane was found inverted in a snowy creek, in a hilly area only accessible by foot, authorities said.
Before it crashed, the plane disappeared from radar. Weather is one possible factor in the wreck, according to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board.
“We would like to thank the neighbors who found the plane, the local Gordon County authorities for bringing Savannah and everyone home, the GBI and the Gordon County coroner's office for their due diligence,” Gabby Sims said.
Sims will be honored at a celebration of life service at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Benedict’s Episcopal. A memorial service for Sluk is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Dogwood Church in Tyrone.
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