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Four people traveling from Florida were killed in a Friday afternoon plane crash in rural Nash County.
Felix Laquidara, 53, Roberta Laquidara, 52, Gregory Boll, 57, and Evva Leigh Boll, 48, all of Naples, Florida, as well as two dogs, were killed when the plane came apart over Nash County while flying from Naples, Florida to Easton/Newman Field in Easton, Maryland.
According to Laquidara’s website, FALFirearms.com, he was the owner of FAL Firearms in Naples. Boll was listed as the store’s manager. Authorities did not disclose who was flying the plane.
The Nash County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Washington Air Traffic Control System Command Center around 2 p.m. Friday saying it had lost contact with a single-engine plane. Moments later, a second call came in saying parts of a plane were just off of Harrison Road northeast of Castalia, said Chief Deputy Brandon Medina.
One wing was found in an open field several hundred feet from the nearest house. A second wing was located across the street directly behind a carport but did not actually touch the house. No one was home at the time of the crash, and there were no reported injuries on the ground.
Teresa Hall, who lives nearby on Taylor’s Store Road, said she had just returned from the store when she heard about the crash.
“I go down and just start seeing parts of the plane. The first piece I saw was a small piece. Then I turned back around and there was a large wing off to the left,” said Hall. “You know it can’t be good. It’s just heartbreaking.”
While storms and showers drenched the area Friday, it is not known if weather played a factor in the plane breaking up in midair. However, heavy rain hampered the search for the fuselage.
“The weather’s affected us because we can’t have flights at this time,” Stone said at the scene.
The sheriff’s office used drones to find the plane’s fuselage, which was located about an hour after first responders arrived on the scene in a densely wooded area roughly a mile from where the wings were located.
Resident Charles Tolan and some of his friends who were out riding four-wheelers also assisted in finding the fuselage.
The National Transportation Safety Board will oversee the investigation to determine the crash’s cause.
“We are at the very early stages of the investigation,” said Terry Williams, spokesman for the NTSB. “In seven to 10 days, a preliminary report will be available.”
The NTSB is looking into the pilot’s records, reviewing reports of weather conditions and speaking to witnesses in the area.
Sheriff Keith Stone said the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, N.C. Forest Service, N.C. Department of Transportation and Nash County Emergency Services also assisted with the recovery and investigation.
The Enterprise posted an initial report about the plane crash at 9:42 p.m. Friday. Visit SpringHopeEnterprise.com between weekly print editions for breaking news and updates.