Fiery crash of small plane on Nashville highway kills Canadian parents and their 3 children

A small plane crashed on the shoulder of Interstate 40 in Nashville and burst into flames Monday night, killing a Canadian family of five, police said.

Two adults and three children were aboard the plane, Aaron McCarter, an aviation safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tuesday.

The victims were identified as pilot Victor Dotsenko, 43, his wife, Rimma Dotsenko, 39, and their three children, David, 12; Adam, 10 years old; and Emma, ​​​​7, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.

The plane was cleared to make an emergency landing at John C. Tune Airport after reporting an engine and power failure around 7:40 p.m., Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson said, Don Aaron. But the pilot quickly told air traffic control that he would not reach the tarmac.

Audio from the website captured communication between the pilot and air traffic controller before the fatal crash.

“Do you still have John Tune Airport in sight?” » asked the air traffic controller.

“My engine stopped. I’m sixteen hundred (feet) away. I’m going to land… I don’t know where,” the pilot replied.

Witnesses reported that the plane appeared “obviously in distress as it flew over the highway” before crashing into a grassy area behind a Costco along I-40 East, Aaron said.

“We’re lucky the plane didn’t hit any buildings when it fell,” Aaron said.

The plane exploded in flames upon impact, Nashville Fire Department spokeswoman Kendra Loney said.

“This impact was catastrophic and left no survivors,” Loney said.

The family was from King Township, Ontario, just north of Toronto, Mayor Steve Pellegrini said Wednesday. The loss to this close-knit community is “heartbreaking and devastating,” he added.

“On behalf of King Township, I extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the Dotsenko family in our community who tragically lost their lives in a small plane crash in Nashville, Tennessee,” Pellegrini said in a press release. statement Monday.

The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash of the single-engine plane, the FAA said. The plane was a Piper PA-32, according to the NTSB.

The plane departed from Ontario, Canada, and made stops in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Mount Sterling, Kentucky, “more than likely to get gas,” said McCarter, the NTSB investigator. The plane was headed to Nashville’s John Tune Airport Monday evening, but for unknown reasons it flew over the airport at 2,500 feet, he said.

The plane then turned around, reported a complete loss of engine power and crashed on the side of the highway, he said.

The crash led to the temporary closure of I-40 east at mile marker 202, said Rebekah Hammonds, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Region 3. on.

A witness’ video shows a plane engulfed in flames and smoke, and images shared by police show the mangled frame of the plane surrounded by first responders on a grassy roadside.

Live traffic cameras also showed a large emergency vehicle blocking all eastbound lanes of traffic near the crash site and a series of traffic backups leading to the closed stretch of I-40 East.

Jamiel Lynch of CNN, Pete Muntean, Amanda Jackson and Caroll Alvarado contributed to this report.

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