MOOREFIELD, W.Va. (KDKA/AP) – Officials have confirmed that three people who were on board a plane that crashed in eastern West Virginia did not survive.
A West Virginia State Police helicopter spotted the wreckage in a rugged, mountainous area of Hardy County yesterday. Search crews reached the crash site last night and confirmed the fatalities.
“The whole town is in shock, it’s sad and I know everybody’s praying for them and their families,” Franci Strapac, of Leechburg, said.
Family members have identified those on board as Laura Stettmier, 49, co-owner of Addison House, Chas Armitage, Jr., 52, the president of Uncle Charley’s Sausage in Parks Township, and pilot Michael Garrone of Allegheny Township.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost friends or loved ones on this flight and I hope that what we have done in providing some closure,” W. Va. Civil Air Patrol Maj. Jeff Schrock said.
Uncle Charley’s Sausage released a statement.
“Chas Armitage became the president of Uncle Charley’s Sausage in 2005, he helped his father grow the business, he was a voice and leader and very well thought of in the meat processing industry.”
The Piper PA-32 Saratoga went missing Sunday night after leaving Danville, Virginia on its way to Johnstown. It dropped out of radio and radar contact in bad weather Sunday night, 12 miles southeast of the Grant County Airport in Petersburg.
The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA will investigate.