Officials identify man and wife killed when plane headed for SC - FOX Carolina 21

Officials identify man and wife killed when plane headed for SC crashed

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© Lazarus Sommers in the cockpit, courtesy David Smith with Race Day Pix © Lazarus Sommers in the cockpit, courtesy David Smith with Race Day Pix
© Lazarus Sommers in the cockpit, courtesy David Smith with Race Day Pix © Lazarus Sommers in the cockpit, courtesy David Smith with Race Day Pix
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The couple killed in a West Virginia plane crash were heading to the Upstate to watch their son perform in an ATV race, according to Tim Cotter with Ansoil Grand National Cross Country Series Racing.

A representative with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified the victims as 50-year-old Lazarus Enoch Sommers and Mary Ann Sommers.

The Summers' Piper PA-32 aircraft crashed while en route from Akron, Ohio to Spartanburg's Downtown Memorial Airport on Friday evening.

Cotter said the Sommers have been avid ATV racing fans for over 30 years and were flying to the Upstate in order to attend the AGNCCS race in Union this weekend, which will feature over 700 professional ATV racers from around the world.

He said the Sommers are also AGNCCS racing sponsors who have attended nearly every race since the series began 18 years ago.

Cotter said the Sommers' son was scheduled to race in the event, but returned to West Virginia after getting word about the crash.

Cotter said the victims were very close to everyone involved with the AGNCCS races, and everyone was saddened by the loss.

"Those friendships never die, the Soomers may have passed away in a plane crash but their memories will live here for a long time," said Cotter. "His closest friends suited up today and went to the starting line, and raced."

FAA officials said flight controllers lost contact with the Sommers' plane after it made a detour due to weather.

NTSB officials said on Saturday that they were still in the recovery phase in their investigation. A preliminary report could take up to ten days to complete and officials said it could take up to a year before they have a clear picture of what caused the crash.

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