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Published On: Thu, Nov 12th, 2015

Diane Smoot, Jared Weiner identified as two in Ohio plane crash

 A small Hawker 700 plane crashed into a small four-unit Ohio apartment building Tuesday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said, confirming that there was no one inside the building. Nine people: seven passengers and two crew members, died in the crash, said Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairwoman with the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash.

This includes the pilot and co-pilot on the jet operated by ExecuFlight, a Florida company, plus “two principals and five employees” of Florida-based real estate company Pebb Enterprises. Overall, sources have confirmed two females and seven males were found dead.

Roberta Porter was driving with her grandson through Akron, Ohio, when a plane “dropped out of the sky.” It slammed into an apartment building, causing an “instant boom and flames and smoke.”

“It was horrific,” Porter told CNN affiliate WOIO. “It was terrible.”

“We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished,” Pebb Enterprises said on its website. “Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers.”

photo/ twitter

photo/ twitter

Beth Blakeslee of Newark, Ohio, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that her sister, Diane Smoot, 50, was among the dead passengers. She said a representative from Pebb Enterprises notified Smoot’s son of her death.

Jared Weiner, 35, who led the company’s growth and development activities and was a grandson of company patriarch Paul Weiner, was killed.

The plane, according to FlightAware.com records, originated in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, leaving about 7 a.m. and flying to St. Paul, Minn., then to the Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill., then on to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Missouri before finishing the day about 7:50 p.m. at Cincinnati Municipal Airport. On Tuesday, the plane made a short jaunt to Dayton Wright Brothers Airport before embarking at 2:13 p.m. for a 36-minute flight to Akron Fulton.

Staff Lt. Bill Haymaker of the Ohio State Highway Patrol described the plane’s final path to the airport, which is about 4 miles away from the crash site.

The aircraft clipped electrical and telephone wires on Mogadore Road before hitting a small apartment building at 2:53 p.m. at 3041 Mogadore Road and slamming into an embankment. That building was completely destroyed, Haymaker said. A second house in the area also was damaged, likely from the fiery debris.

Haymaker and Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler said the investigation would continue through the night and Wednesday when there will be more light.

“It is a recovery process,” Haymaker confirmed during a news conference. “We know the plane could have held up to 10 people. We know there’s family out there that want to know if their loved ones were in the crash. It’s going to be a process … that could go all day long.

“The plane is burnt. That is going to take some time,” he said, adding that the scene was not a “large debris field.”

NTSB has security camera footage that shows the seconds leading up to the crash.

It shows the jet was flying very low, descending and banked to the left. The left wing hit the ground, leaving a mark as the plane smashed into the apartments.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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