Rear view of a small airplane parked on a sunset background. A silhouette of a private jet on the ground at dusk. Piper Cherokee single propeller aircraft. via Getty Images
Family and friends in small town Illinois mourn the loss of two grandparents who perished in a plane crash as they traveling for thanksgiving.
Joseph and Patty Kreher, of Freeburg, Illinois, died Saturday when their Piper PA-30 twin-engine small plane crashed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at around 11:15 a.m. The couple had taken off from downtown St Louis. Cahokia Airport, had a stopover in London, Kentucky, then crashed near an airport in Winston-Salem, KSDK-TV reported.
National Safety Transportation Board authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Aviation Safety Investigator Pete Wentz told the local news station that the pilot contacted airport radio tower that there was a problem before the plane crashed.
“The pilot communicated that he had to circle the airport for a second attempt and during the circle maneuver the aircraft lost control and impacted the ground,” Wetnz said.
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While the investigation is ongoing, the city of Freeburg mourns the loss of its neighbors.
“It’s going to be tough for anyone who knew Joe and Patty,” Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser told KSDK.
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The couple were well known and loved in the town of 4,500.
“I knew Joe and Patty, they had a very popular 159-person machine shop in the area,” Speiser said.
The Krehers owned a machine shop business called General Machine, which provided heavy equipment repairs and other machining needs to the eastern and southern Illinois metro area, as well as the Greater St. Louis area.
“They had an amazing business there,” Speiser told KSDK, “I’m also sorry for all the families that work there. Because it was a family store and now mom and dad are gone.”
A family member who spoke to FOX8 in Winston-Salem said the Krehers were driving into town from St. Louis to visit their son and grandchildren for Thanksgiving.
The family member said the couple had made the trip from St. Louis to North Carlina several times before without incident.
Joseph Kreher is listed as a flight instructor with the National Association of Flight Instructors.
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. grandparents Illinois die in plane crash road for celebrate Thanksgiving family