2 killed in small plane crash at Ohio car dealership, officials say

Officials have confirmed that a small plane crashed in the parking lot of a car dealership in southeastern Ohio early Tuesday, killing both passengers on board and causing a massive fire to the ground.

the plane was Identified By the National Transportation Safety Board as the Beech E-90 King Air utility aircraft, a model produced in the 1970s that can carry seven people and fly at relatively low altitudes. It crashed outside a Pioneer Buick GMC dealership in Marietta, Ohio, near the state border with West Virginia at approximately 7:15 a.m. local time.

The Marietta branch of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said in a news release that the pilot and another person were seriously injured in the crash. He said no casualties were reported, though several vehicles on the ground and buildings of car dealerships were damaged in the accident.

A small plane collided with a car dealership in Marietta, Ohio, on Tuesday morning, killing both people on board.

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The two people killed were identified by the Ohio State Highway Patrol as Timothy Gifford, 49, of Orient, Ohio, and Eric Seavers, 45, of Parkersburg, West Virginia. According to CBS affiliate WBNS-TV, Gifford was a firefighter with the Columbus Division of Fire who retired in May.

Seaver and Gifford were the only passengers on the small plane, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement to CBS News after the crash. The agency said it would investigate the cause of the accident with NTSB officials, who are leading the ongoing investigation and will be in charge of future updates.

Marietta police initially responded to the accident on Tuesday morning with local firefighters. The police department confirmed that the fire was extinguished approximately two hours after the accident was first reported, and noted in comments to CBS News at the time that vehicles on the ground were badly damaged.

A regional government organization, Buckeye Hills, acknowledged the accident. Twitter and said that as a result its office in Marietta would be closed throughout the morning.

“Please note that our Marietta office is closed this morning, October 18, due to a plane crash and road closures on Pike Street. Our employees are working remotely and are available by phone and email,” the organization wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved, their families and first responders.”

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