by CHRYSTAL STASICKY Media Editor
A small, private jet that was planned to land at the Montgomery County Airport crashed into a subdivision in Gaithersburg, Maryland on Monday, December 8 at 10:45 a.m.
Inside the home was Marie Gemmell and her sons Cole, 3, and Devon, an infant.
Pete Piringer, the public information officer for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, said that the family was found in the second-floor bathroom of one of the houses that was struck by the Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100. Police Chief Chris Manger said Gemmell’s husband and the couple’s 5-year-old child were not home at the time.
Two of the victims survived a 2010 plane mishap that happened in the same town; however, this time, they were not so lucky.
The first victim was a pilot and the second victim was Michael Rosenburg, CEO and a founder of a North Carolina clinical development company called Health Decisions. In fact, the flight started in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which is close to the company’s headquarters in Durham.
“I find it so upsetting that a family was killed because of this crash. The saddest part is that a three-year-old boy and an infant were involved. These children will not be able to live their lives now. They had so much ahead of them – a lot of growing to do – but now it cannot be done,” said junior Justin Stow.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has not notified the media about who piloted the plane. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records show that Rosenberg was certified to fly that type of aircraft.
Rosenburg piloted a small plane on March 1, 2010, according to the FAA records. He skidded the plane 100 feet off the runway, which stopped nose down in the mud in trees. There was only a minor injury following the mishap.
In the incident that happened on Monday, the plane went down a mile from the airport with its belly up into Gemmell’s house.
Witness Fred Pedreira, 67, said to CNN, “This guy, when I saw him, for a fast jet with the wheels down, I said, ‘I think he’s coming in too low.’ Then he was 90 degrees — sideways — and then he went belly-up into the house and it was a ball of fire. It was terrible.”
Another woman that lives near the scene of the crash reported that she might have heard the victims calling for help. She heard the plane crash into the house and then she rushed over to see that the plane was already in the house. According to her, the flames were so high that it created a mushroom effect.
When Robert Sumwalt of the NTSB described the crash site, he said the tail was at the front door, the fuselage was laying against the another house, and one of the wings was in the third house. The place damaged three houses, even though the wreckage was mainly in two areas.
Senior Lauren Brancaccio said, “It is so tragic when incidents like this happen. So much damage was done, physically and mentally. That poor husband lost his wife and two of his children to this accident and he lost his home as well.”
How do you feel about the plane crash? What do you think caused the plane to crash?