What we know about the plane crash that killed two in Marietta after leaving Columbus

Video plane crash marietta ohio

UPDATE:NTSB official: Investigation into Marietta plane crash to take months

Two people died Tuesday after the twin-engine plane they were in crashed near the border of Ohio and West Virginia, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Here’s what we know about the fatal crash:

Where did the plane crash happen?

The crash occurred around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday in a parking lot at the Pioneer Buick GMC dealership on the 1000 block of Pike Street in Marietta, according to the patrol. Video from the crash shows a large ball of fire as the plane landed on the dealership.

No one on the ground was injured, but there was damage reported to vehicles at the car dealership, the patrol said.

Who died in the crash?

The patrol has identified the deceased as 45-year-old Eric Seevers, of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Timothy Gifford, 49, of Orient. The patrol did not say who was piloting the plane.

Both men had pilot’s licenses, according to Federal Aviation Administration records reviewed by The Dispatch. Gifford received his license in 2019 and had a medical assessment in March that stated he must wear glasses when flying. Seevers received his pilot’s license on June 18.

Gifford is a retired firefighter from the Columbus Division of Fire, according to Steve Stein, president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 67, which represents city firefighters. He joined the division in 2006 and retired in May.

Gifford served on the division’s heavy rescue squad, according to a Facebook post. Among those he rescued during his career was Monica Durban, who suffered traumatic brain injuries and was in a coma for six weeks after a car struck the-then-20-year-old’s car on I-70 in 2008. Gifford was one of the first medics to arrive to the scene of the crash, and Durban in 2016 credited her recovery to his “quick action and sustained attention.”

Tim Gifford was one of two men who was killed in a Tuesday plane crash near Marietta.

His family said in a statement that they were “utterly shattered,” they “are so very grateful for the outpouring of support from the communities of Columbus and Marietta.”

Gifford is survived by is survived by his parents, sister, wife and three sons.

What caused the crash?

That’s unclear at this time. The crash is being investigated by the patrol, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A final report on what caused the crash will likely take nine to 12 months to complete, Aaron McCarter, a NTSB aviation accident investigator, said Wednesday morning during a briefing. Preliminary report information may be available within about 10 days, he added.

Where was the plane headed?

The twin-engine 1974 Beechcroft King Air E90 that Seevers and Gifford took off from John Glenn Columbus International Airport around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday with a destination of Parkersburg, West Virginia, McCarter said.

Around 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, McCarter said plane, about three miles northeast of the airport, made contact with air traffic controllers in Parkersburg and was cleared to land.

About 40 seconds later, the plane made a a “very steep angle” descent and crashed into the parking lot of car dealership in Marietta, McCarter said.

What will the NTSB investigation cover?

The NTSB official said the plane did not exhibit signs of distress prior to crashing and that no distress calls were sent by the two men inside. He added that the NTSB’s investigation will look at the aircraft’s deicing capabilities as there had been reports of potential icing in the area.

McCarter also said the investigation will try to confirm whether any fire was onboard prior to impact. The plane was not required to have a “black box” reporting device on board. However, some of the aircraft’s equipment can serve similar purposes and capture information about altitude, actions taken by the pilot and the plane’s functioning, McCarter said.

The plane’s wreckage will be transported to a facility in Delaware for further examination after the scene is fully investigated.

Dispatch reporter Bethany Bruner contributed to this report.

Monroe Trombly covers breaking and trending news.

mtrombly@dispatch.com

@MonroeTrombly

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