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Father and son dead after F-16 fighter jet collides with private plane over South Carolina

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jul 07, 2015

A father and his son were named as the two that died when a F-16 fighter jet struck their private plane in midair near Charleston, South Carolina Tuesday morning.

The body of Michael Johnson, 68, has been recovered, the Associated Press reports. Authorities are still searching for the body of his son, pilot Joseph Johnson, 30.

The fighter pilot, identified as Air Force Maj. Aaron Johnson, ejected to safety.

The collision was described as a "ball of fire in the air," by witnesses who spoke with local television station WCBD. Debris was scattered over 20 miles.

The crash happened at about 11 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Local officials said the small, two-seater Cessna 150 was hit "broadside" by the fighter jet. 

Officials from Shaw Air Force Base, located near Sumter, South Carolina, confirmed the downed F-16 came from its fleet. The following tweet was issued from the base: