JASPER, Ala. (January 2, 2013)--Authorities believe that a plane was taken on a joyride by three teenagers before it crashed in Alabama, killing all three people aboard.
Walker County sheriff's Chief Deputy James Painter said authorities are still investigating, but believe the teenagers took the plane without permission and were "sort of joyriding in it" before it crashed Tuesday night.
But Sherrie Smith, who says her 17-year-old son Jordan Smith was flying the plane, said Wednesday that the teenager had his own key to the plane and had flown it many times.
She said the other two teenagers were her son’s friends.
Smith said the owner of the plane had let her son fly it many other times and had given him his own key.
Painter said the plane went down in a wooded area near Jasper, northwest of Birmingham.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Piper PA 30 went down less than a mile from the Walker County Airport.