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VSP: 6 dead after plane crashes at Fredericksburg airport

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WRIC Newsroom – SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, (WRIC) —  Virginia State police just confirmed that six bodies were recovered from the wreckage of the plane that crashed in Fredericksburg today.

According to police, at 12:26 p.m. on Friday, the VSP received a report of a plane crash near Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg.

The small, private plane was attempting to land when it overshot the runway and pulled back up too late, crashing into nearby trees. The plane immediately caught fire upon hitting the trees.

The decedents have been identified as the following:

Pilot:

  • William C. Hamerstadt, 64, of Carmel, Ind.

Passengers:

  • Robert D. Ross, 73, of Louisville, Ky. (owner of the plane)
  • Lisa K. Borinstein, 52, of Shelbyville, Ind.
  • Luke J. Borinstein, 19, of Shelbyville, Ind.
  • Emma R. Borinstein, 15, of Shelbyville, Ind.
  • Maren Timmermann, 15, of Berlin, Germany

The aircraft departed Louisville, Ky., Friday morning. It stopped in Shelbyville, Ind., and continued to its final destination of Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg, Va.

Shocked witnesses on a train going by the crash site described the plane in flames and said it had been completely destroyed. Authorities have not identified the victims.

Authorities have not identified the victims, but their remains are being transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for positive identification. Police are still in the process of notifying next of kin and will not release information until all next of kin have been notified. Police say all six victims are believed to be from out of state.

Tanya Aquino of Washington was on an Amtrak train to Richmond when the train stopped. A conductor first said there was a fire, then said there had been a plane crash.

The train rode past the crash site and Aquino said she saw flames, smoke, several rescue vehicles and the remains of the plane just beyond the tree line.

"When I heard there was a fire, it was such a hot day, I was hoping it was just a brush fire," Aquino said. "It looked so terrible the way the plane had landed."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Shari Acree, who was also on the train, said she saw white smoke and the crash.

"The plane was completely decimated and there was still some flame coming from it," Acree said in an email.

The airport has an average of 85 flights per day, mostly local general aviation. Ninety-one aircraft are based there, most of them are single-engine.

State police are still on scene being assisted by the Spotsylvania County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management; Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire Department; Chancellor Volunteer Fire Department; National Park Service; NTSB; FAA; and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

This is the fourth deadly crash at the Shannon Airport in ten years.

In July 2013, a man died in his Cessna in what was ruled a suicide, in September 2012, a father and his son died there shortly after takeoff and in 2006 a man crashed a single seat plane into a nearby field.