At approximately 0455 Eastern time, the airplane collided with trees and terrain while maneuvering. The commercial pilot and two passengers received fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and a post-impact fire. Instrument conditions prevailed.
A pilot-rated witness living near the airport stated he heard the airplane make three passes over the airport from different directions beginning around 0430. He stated there was fog in the area at the time he heard the airplane and that he could see vertically through it, but not horizontally.