Crew members used saws to cut the plane up before they eventually towed it away with a pickup truck.
Patti Kreher and Joe Kreher were excited to spend thanksgiving with their children and grandchildren. But in a tragic turn of events, the two died in a plane crash in Winston-Salem in North Carolina. They had made the trip multiple times from St.Louis to North Carolina, according to PEOPLE.
Patti and Joe were from Freeburg and owned a company called General Machine, as reported by Belleville News-Democrat. On Saturday, around 11 am, according to a Federal Aviation Administration press release, their private plane, a twin-engine Piper PA-30 Comanche, crashed in a residential area near the northwest corner of Winston Lake Golf Course.
The plane had taken off from St.Louis Downtown Airport on Saturday and landed in London, Kentucky, an hour and 45 minutes after making a loop around the airport, according to FlightAware.com. Reportedly, it was rescheduled to land at Smith Reynolds Airport, around 11:10 am.
Moreover, Sergeant C.G. Byrd with North Carolina State Highway Patrol said that the pilot reportedly spoke with the control tower before the crash, sharing that their engine was "not making as much power as the other one."
Susan Harrison Baily, a woman who lives nearby the crash scene told Winston-Salem Jornal that she heard the plane crash. She said that the plane came down near her backyard, coming to rest near the property lines with her neighbor. It didn't hit her house. "I couldn’t tell that it was a plane,” she said. “There was a lot of smoke." She added, “I could see it was smashed into the trees. It landed straight up and down.”
Battalion Chief Joe Ramsey of the Winston-Salem Fire Department said that the firefighters, police, and Forsyth County emergency medical technicians responded at 11:11 a.m. on Saturday to a report of a plane crash on Jeketer Drive. He added that the fire department was keeping a check on the scene to put out a fire at the scene if one starts and to keep it safe for federal investigators.
National Transportation Safety Board officials cleared the wreckage on Monday morning. Crew members used saws to cut the plane up before they eventually towed it away with a pickup truck. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. The Winston-Salem Fire Department and the highway patrol are also looking into the case.
Employees of their organization, General Machine said that the couple was very well-liked. "It's just going to be hard for everyone that knew Joe and Patty," Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser said, per WFMY News. "I knew Joe and Patty, they had a machine shop off of 159, very well-liked people in the area," Speiser said. He added, "I feel sorry for all the families that work there too. Because it was a mom-and-pop shop and now mom and pop are no longer there." Expressing his condolences, Speiser continued, "It's just a tragedy that this happened so close to Thanksgiving. Our prayers are out for this family."
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Patti Kreher