The couple killed when their small plane crashed in West Virginia after taking off from Akron Fulton International Airport on Friday have been identified as Lazarus Sommers, 50, and Maryann Sommers, 56, of Millersburg.
Lazarus Sommers was piloting the Piper PA-32 when it left Akron around 3:15 p.m. Friday headed for Spartanburg, S.C., reportedly to visit with a college-age son.
The plane went down near Riverside in eastern Kanawha County at about 4 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. West Virginia media said Sommers had asked for help navigating around bad weather.
Investigators from the FAA arrived in town Saturday morning to examine the wreckage.
Eight witnesses to the crash have been interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board and all parts of the plane have been accounted for, NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said.
A preliminary report will be released in 10 business days, although it could take up to a year to determine what happened.
The Sommers owned a business in Millersburg called GT Thunder, specializing in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Lazarus Sommers was active in competitive racing.
In an online forum for ATV enthusiasts, their deaths were called “sad news for the racing community.”
“Very tragic incident. A major loss to our racing community and the world,” one forum writer said at TRX250r.net.