Ohio Couple Killed in West Virginia Plane Crash During Severe Thunderstorms

April 12, 2014

The plane that crashed was a Piper PA-32 like this one. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Officials say a married couple from Ohio died after their plane crashed in West Virginia on Friday. The Charleston Gazette reports that the pilot of the Piper PA-32 had reportedly asked for help navigating around bad weather.

The small plane was on its way from Akron, Ohio, to Spartanburg, S.C., when it crashed about 5 p.m. Friday near Riverside in eastern Kanawha County.

"Overcast skies and thunderstorms were reported in the area near the time of the crash," said weather.com meteorologist Chrissy Warrilow. "In addition, gusty winds reached as high as 30 mph at times on Friday afternoon."

(MORE: Black Box Signals From Missing Plane Fading Fast)

Media outlets report that the National Transportation Safety Board on Saturday identified those killed as 50-year-old Lazarus Sommers and his 56-year-old wife, Maryann Sommers. The couple was from Millersburg, Ohio. The plane took off from the Akron Fulton International Airport and was headed to Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport in South Carolina, WCHS Charleston/Huntington reports. .

The newspaper said that West Virginia State Police responding to the crash needed about two hours to find the site with a helicopter.

MORE: The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

A woman, one of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 shows her mobile phone displaying a photo of her father, who was aboard the missing plane. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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