Clay County father killed in plane crash, family says

Clay County father killed in plane crash, family says

A Clay County father was killed in a plane crash in Georgia, according to family.

Investigators are working to determine what caused a Piper PA-28A to crash just south of Cartersville, Georgia, on Saturday.

Family tells Action News Jax that Paul Deep was on his way to see family.

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The night before, Deep was at American Legion Post 250 in Middleburg, cooking for the members.

“He was super excited for his adventure the next day, to go see his great-grandson and surprise them with a visit,” Peggy Newsome said.

Newsome said Deep, a Navy veteran, was a mentor to her and touched many lives in the community.

He was known to many from his restaurant, Aerial's, and the hardware store off County Road 218.

Joshua Skipper said his first memories of Deep are from working at the hardware store.

“He was always real hard on me, made sure I was a hard worker,” Skipper said.

Years later, he said he started competing with Deep in barbecue cook-offs.

“The whole hog was his thing,” he said. “He would sleep right there in a reclining chair and put the wood on the fire all night long.”

This November would’ve been Deep’s 30th year competing in the Big Pig Jig, a barbeque cooking contest.

Skipper said he still plans to compete to pay tribute to Deep.

Members of the American Legion Post say they are also working on a way to honor him.

"He encouraged the best in people," Newsome said. "That’s how he touched so many people."