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Mothers of kids killed in plane crash talk about their losses

Moms say they didn't know kids would be flying

September 18, 2012|by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News |

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Services are set for this Saturday to mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of a father and his three children.  They were all killed in a plane crash near Willard early Saturday.

Grayson, McKinley and Joshua Lambert were on board the small plane piloted by their dad, John, when it crashed.  A family friend, Robin Melton, was also killed.  The cause is still unknown, and probably won't be determined for many months.

"We didn't know.  Neither one of us knew that our kids were on the plane, we didn't know," said Holly Lambert and Georgia Marshall.  Holly Lambert is still married to John Lambert, who piloted the plane.   They are in the process of getting a divorce.  Georgia Marshall is John's ex-wife.  The two had Grayson and McKinley Lambert; both were killed in the crash.  The Lambert family tells KY3 that Robin Melton, who was also on board, was a close friend of John's.


The shock of Saturday morning's crash is wearing off, but the horror remains.

"I thought, 'No way McKinley is on the plane because she has a volleyball tournament,' and Grayson, he was actually supposed to be out on a date on Friday night," Marshall said.

The harsh reality came five hours after the crash on Holly Lambert's doorstep.

"The police officer said, 'Does your husband own a plane?'  And I said, 'Yes,' and he said, 'What is the tail number?'  And so I said it and they said, 'The plane has crashed and there were four people in the plane,'" Lambert said.

What investigators didn't know at that point is five people were on board the four-seater plane.

So then, Holly and Georgia had to find out who exactly was on that plane.

"We were calling friends and calling his peers.  'Are you with Grayson?  Are you with Grayson?' and they went over to the house and checked and his car was there but he was not.  We knew he was on the plane as well but they had just not found his body," Holly said.

All three kids, their dad, John Lambert, and a family friend, Robin Melton, all perished.  There is little comfort right now except in what these two moms say they just know to be true.

"The both of us sit and say they crashed at 12:25 in the morning and we pray and we just know in our hearts that the children were asleep, and it happened very fast and they had no idea," the moms said.

After getting the news of the crash, Marshall says a friend of Grayson forwarded her a text that Grayson had sent him saying he was concerned to fly in the stormy weather.

"We see pictures and it just brings it back to life that they are not going to walk in that door and be laughing and smiling, and McKinley is not going to go to Homecoming even though they went out and bought a dress."

"I think after the memorial service and the celebration of life on Saturday, it's really going to hit us because the house is going to be silent and that's when it is going to be so hard, because we're so used to a house full of children," Marshall said.

Georgia Marshall has one other child of her own, a 9-year-old girl.  Holly Lambert only had one child, 9-year-old Joshua Lambert who died in the crash.

Celebration of Life services for the Lamberts are set for 1p.m. on Saturday at Second Baptist Church in Springfield.

Lambert and Marshall ask, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Lambert Children Memorial Fund at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney at 1535 E. Primrose St. in Springfield, (417) 882-7150.  They say the money will be divvied up between several community organizations.

The women also say John Lambert was a good dad and a good pilot.  He had flown with the children on multiple occasions.

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