Joe Lara, Former 'Tarzan' Actor, Among 7 Presumed Dead In Plane Crash

By Sarah Tate

June 1, 2021

Joe Lara, known for portraying Tarzan on TV's Tarzan: The Epic Adventures, is presumed dead following a plane crash in Tennessee over the weekend. He is one of seven people presumed to have died when a small plane crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna on Saturday morning (May 29), FOX 17 reports.

Other victims were identified as Brentwood residents and include Lara's wife and diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Cessna C501 plane was on its way from Smyrna Rutherford County Airport to Palm Beach International Airport when it crashed. Search and rescue crews were out in full force Saturday, but by nightfall the search turned into a recovery effort.

"We are no longer in an attempt to looking for live victims at this point so we're now recovering as much as we can from the crash site," Capt. Joshua Sanders, Incident Commander Rutherford County Fire Rescue, said Saturday night.

Gwen Shamblin Lara was the founder and spiritual leader of Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, and the other victims were also leaders at the church. On Sunday, the church issued a statement to CNN in tribute to its lost members.

"The seven Remnant Fellowship leaders lost May 29, 2021, were some of the finest and most loving people that you would ever come across. During this horrible tragedy, our church would greatly appreciate prayers."

As of Monday, crews were still searching for wreckage in the lake and the National Transportation Safety Board is leading the potentially years-long investigation.

"I cannot say enough about the teamwork of all agencies represented from our local public safety agencies to our federal partners," said Chris Clark, Rutherford County Public Safety director. "Our teams are all committed to doing absolutely everything we can to bring closure during this very tragic situation."

Photo: Getty Images

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