Grandparents Killed in Plane Crash on Their Way to Visit Family for Thanksgiving

Grandparents Killed in Plane Crash on Their Way to Visit Family for Thanksgiving

Patty and Joe Kreher were killed when their small plane lost control while attempting to land in North Carolina.

Cover Image Source: YouTube/CBS 17

Two grandparents died in a small town in Illinois after their small, twin-engine plane crashed in North Carolina on Saturday. Joseph and Patty Kreher reportedly took off from Cahokia's St. Louis Downtown Airport and made a stop in London, Kentucky, before continuing on to Winston-Salem. They were on their way to visit family for Thanksgiving when the twin-engine Piper PA-30 Joe was flying crashed near the airport. Speaking to WGHP, the family revealed that the pair had safely made the trip from St. Louis to North Carolina multiple times before. 

"It's just going to be hard for everyone that knew Joe and Patty," Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser said, reports KSDK. "I knew Joe and Patty, they had a machine shop off of 159, very well-liked people in the area. They had an unbelievable business out there. 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."


The deaths were confirmed by the Winston-Salem Police Department on Saturday night after a medical examiner from Forsyth County arrived at the scene shortly after 3 p.m, Mirror UK, reported. As per data from FlightAware.com, the plane landed in London an hour and 45 minutes after takeoff and circled the airport. It was then rescheduled to land at Smith Reynolds at 11:10 a.m.

National Transportation Safety Board officials cleared the wreckage Monday morning, with the area taped off. Crew members used saws to cut up the plane before towing it away with a pickup truck. Susan Harrison-Bailey, a nearby resident, told reporters that she was close to the crash when it occurred and that the stricken aircraft came to rest between her and her neighbor's properties. She said, "I couldn't tell it was a plane. There was quite a bit of smoke... It was clearly smashed into the trees. It landed with a straight up and down motion."


According to Sergeant C.G. Byrd of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the plane crashed in a residential area's woodline. Fortunately, no other injuries have been reported by anyone in the area. Before the collapse, the pilot reportedly told the control tower that their engine was "not making as much power as the other one." 

Over the next six months, National Transportation Safety Board investigators will work to determine the cause of the crash. "We do a 100-hour inspection," Wentz explained, "to make sure the spark plugs, the fuel, everything is there." During the investigation, friends and family will mourn Krehers' death. "It's just a tragedy that this happened so close to Thanksgiving," Speiser said, adding that "our thoughts and prayers are with this family." The National Association of Flight Instructors lists Joseph Kreher as a certified single and multi-engine aeroplane instructor.


The crash comes just a month after a small plane crashed into a home in Minnesota, killing three people. Cessna 172 collided with the second floor of a Hermantown residence before coming to a stop in the residents' backyard. The two individuals were unharmed. Tyler Fretland, 32, of Burnsville, the plane's pilot, Alyssa Schmidt, 32, of St. Paul, and her brother, Matthew Schmidt, 31, of Burnsville, was among those killed in the crash as per People.






Cover Image Source: YouTube/CBS 17