Nine people have been confirmed to have died in an accident that involved a plane crashing into homes in Akron, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Seven of the nine deceased were employees of the Florida-based real estate company, Pebb Enterprises. The plane in question had been rented by the company. In a statement, Pebb Enterprises said that “our hearts are broken” for the “unimaginable loss” of its seven employees. As reported by ABC News, the statement said, “We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished. Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers.”
The other deceased were the pilot and the co-pilot of the plane, Ohio State Highway Patrol said.
Other than Diane Smoot, one of the employees of Pebb Enterprises who was killed in the plane crash, the company has not released the names of its other employees that were aboard the H25 business jet. However, posts on social media indicate that Jared Weiner, who was heading the company’s growth and development activities, also perished in the tragic accident.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman, Bella Dinh-Zarr, the findings of the investigation suggest that the plane was “flying at a low altitude” and was “banking to the left” prior to crashing. He further added that the left wing was the first to strike the ground, and that it clipped power lines as it went down.
The houses the plane crashed in were empty. While the house that was struck was initially believed to be a single-family home, it was later found out to be a four-unit building, Ohio State Highway Patrol Staff Lt., William P. Haymaker, said. Eight homes in the nearby area were also evacuated.
A go team has been deployed by the NTSB to Akron to look into the crash, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. The cause of the crash “appears to be mechanical,” according to a federal source.
The plane in question flew from the Dayton-Wright Brothers airport, Miamisburg, Ohio, at about 2:13 p.m. and was headed to the Akron Fulton Airport. The crash occurred at about 3 p.m.
Being operated by Execuflight, based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, it was “a very good airplane,” the owner, Augusto Daniel Lewkowicz, said. “I’ve flown that airplane. It’s constantly always maintained,” he said. He added that the pilots were “very well-seasoned,” and that “they liked to fly together.”