US plane crash kills former state legislator, 5 others
A small plane crashed in a residential area and killed all six people aboard, including the pilot, a former state lawmaker who had offered joyrides to airport visitors after a charity breakfast.
Gene Damschroder Senior, 86, was flying the fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna when it crashed about 1 p.m. yesterday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. His five passengers also died in the crash in Sandusky County.
"It was just kind of an accident. He was giving airplane rides. He always gives charity air rides," said Gene Damschroder's son, Rex Damschroder, who was not at the airport when the plane crashed.
"Someone said they heard the engine sputter," he said. "The next thing we knew they were down in a field in a residential area."
No one on the ground was injured, and no buildings were damaged, patrol Lt Tony Bradshaw said. It was too early to tell what caused the crash. The National Weather Service said there was no severe weather in the area at the time.
The Lions Club of Fremont held a fly-in breakfast, inviting nearby pilots to fly to Fremont Airport and display their planes.
After the event, Damschroder offered visitors a chance to go up in planes for the cost of fuel, according to a poster at the airport. The joyrides were not related to the Lions Club event.
Authorities could not confirm that those on board had taken Damschroder up on his offer.
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