Joe Lara, known for his role in the 1996 “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,” died Saturday when his plane crashed into a Tennessee Lake, according to the Associated Press. His wife, a renowned author and diet program founder Gwen Lara was also onboard, along with five others. Officials present at the scene reported no survivors in the crash.
A spokesperson for the Rutherford County government released the names of other passengers who died in the tragic crash, including Gwen Lara’s son in law Brandon Hannah, couples Jennifer and David Martin, and Jessica and Jonathon Walters.
The seven people were aboard the Cessna 501 when it crashed into Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, a community close to Nashville, stated authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating to conclude the cause of the crash. The plane was headed for Beach International Airport in Florida.
During a news conference, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders declared there were no survivors in the crash. “We are no longer… looking for live victims at this point,” confirmed a desolate Capt. Sanders.
Born in San Diego in 1962, Joe Lara had gained massive popularity for his performance in the CBS movie “Tarzan in Manhattan” of 1989, along with its respective spin-off series, including “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures” from 1966 to 1997.
Joe Lara moved from acting to music in the early 2000s and went on to release an album of his own in 2009, titled “Joe Lara: The Cry of Freedom.” Lara married Gwen Shamblin in 2018. Together, they created the faith-based diet program Weigh Down Workshop.
Elizabeth Hannah, Gwen Shamblin Lara’s daughter, and Brandon Hannah’s wife released a statement in remembrance of her beloved mother and husband. Hannah spoke of the seven people who were “some of the finest, most righteous and loving people” she had ever known.
Her brother, Michael Shamblin also thanked the responders and law officials who worked at the site. In a statement, he asked for people to pray for his family and the families of others who passed away in the incident. Shamblin especially made a note of the deceased’s children and declared massive support “to take special care of their needs in these coming years.”