ANAHUAC, Texas (FOX 26) — "It's tragic guys who were professionals lost their lives out here," said Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne.
Atlas Air Flight 3591 was headed to Houston from Miami and was operated on behalf of Amazon when it crashed in the Anahuac area on Saturday afternoon.
"It's a first in my career and I've been doing this for 35 years," said Sheriff Hawthorne. "I never dreamed we would have a Boeing 767 crash a mile and a half from the sheriff's office. We're fortunate the pilots were able to get to the water versus in the middle of town."
Hawthorne took FOX 26 News to the debris field on an airboat.
Thousands of disintegrated plane parts can be seen in the water.
The only recognizable item was a tire.
The aircraft's black boxes and a third victim have yet to be recovered.
"The black boxes are obviously the key to everything for the National Transportation Safety Board and there's no doubt from the video we've seen, there's no explanation as to the cause of this crash," said Hawthorne.
The weather hasn't been ruled out as a cause for the crash but it seems doubtful.
"One of our security cameras captured about five seconds of the jet and it's in a steep nose dive," said Hawthorne. "You can see it go into the water. You can see the splash."
The Chambers County Sheriff's Office confirmed the identities of jump seat rider Sean Archuleta, 36, and co-pilot First Officer Conrad Aska, 44.
Archuleta had worked for Mesa Airlines since 2013 and was supposed to start a new job with United Airlines this week.
Ricky Blakley was identified online as the third victim of the crash.