Two families from Greenville killed in Alaska plane crash - FOX Carolina 21

Two families from Greenville killed in Alaska plane crash

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The Antonakos Family (left) and the McManus Family (Source: Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC) The Antonakos Family (left) and the McManus Family (Source: Christ Church Episcopal, Greenville, SC)

Two families from Greenville were the victims of a fatal plane accident in Alaska on Sunday that killed 10 people in all, including the pilot.

Friends of the Antonakos and McManus families said they were on a family vacation together.

Rep. Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville, said Melet Antonakos, his wife Kimberly and their children, Olivia, Mills and Anna, were killed in the crash. Bannister is neighbors with the family.

Dr. Chris McManus, his wife, Stacey, along with their two children, Connor and Meghan, were also on the plane.

Bannister said both families were travel buddies, church mates and friends. Both families are members of Christ Church Episcopal in Greenville, according to Bannister. Friends said Stacey McManus was involved at Christ Church while their children attended the school.

The Antonakos children were involved in a local swim team.

"The Gower family has suffered a tremendous loss today with the deaths of the Antonakos family while on vacation in Alaska," said Scott Sanders, president of the Gower Estates Pool Board. "The Antonakos' had a strong presence on the Gower swim team and in our neighborhood. They were dearly loved by everyone and were deeply involved in our schools and with their church.

"They will be missed more than words can express. We all are better for having known Melet, Kim, Olivia, Mills and Anna."   

McManus has worked with Greenville Radiology, which is a part of Greenville Health Systems, since 1999, according to co-workers who released a statement Monday about his death.

"We're deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of Dr. Chris McManus and his family," said C. David Williams III, MD, chair of the Department of Radiology for the Greenville Health System. "I've had the pleasure of knowing Chris for nearly 15 years, and he has been a wonderful asset to the medical community. He was an extraordinary physician but also an extraordinary human being who was known to be both compassionate and conscientious.

"Chris was one of our lead interventional radiologists, who brought a number of new and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic tools to the community."

Marshall Johnson, the next-door neighbor of McManus, said the family was well-liked in their community.

"They were the first people in the neighborhood to invite us over and welcome us to the community," said Johnson. "They've been perfect neighbors, just beautiful people and a beautiful family."

Rev. Harrison McLeod, with Christ Church, spoke with FOX Carolina about the loss of both families and other recent deaths the parish has had to deal with.

"It's obviously challenging," McLeod said. "It's so unusual to lose nine parishioners at the same time and it comes on the heels of five weeks ago we had another parishioner die in a plane crash."

McLeod said the church had several unusual deaths recently, including a couple who died in their home of carbon monoxide poisoning and Julius Gilreath's death in a Georgia plane crash.

"All of those things coupled together, I think [it has] just reminded us all in the community that life is fragile and life is a gift and we are really called to live each day in gratitude and confidence in the resurrection," McLeod said.

No funeral arrangements have been made as of yet for both families. The pilot was the only person on board not from the Greenville area who died in Sunday's fatal crash.

This is the second plane crash in Alaska in the past month that killed passengers from the Upstate.

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