The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain at about 1630 Eastern time, following an in-flight loss of control. The private pilot, pilot-rated passenger and a second passenger were fatally injured. Marginal visual conditions prevailed
While in cruise, the pilot advised ATC he had entered instrument conditions and requested assistance. The controller attempted to radar-identify the flight; however, no further communications were received. Radar data indicated an altitude of 8000 feet and a rapid descent to 200 feet, about ½ mile from the accident site.The airplane came to rest upright. None of the trees surrounding the wreckage exhibited any impact damage or signs of a debris path. The pilot did not possess an instrument rating. A nearby weather observation at 1627 included wind from 360 degrees at nine knots; visibility 10 miles and an overcast ceiling at 1500 feet agl.