Mom, 2 Sons Also Died When Plane Destroyed House

The pilot, a health CEO, had crashed a plane before
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2014 4:46 PM CST
Firefighters stand outside a smoking house where a small plane crashed in Gaithersburg, Md., Monday Dec. 8, 2014.   (Jose Luis Magana)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A private jet that crashed into a house in Maryland today not only killed its three passengers but took the lives of a woman and her two sons living inside, WJLA reports. The woman, 36-year-old Marie Gemmell—who posted on Facebook today that she just wanted to stay home with her kids, NBC Washington notes—apparently found refuge in a second-floor bathroom with her month-old infant and three-year-old. Officials say they may have died of smoke inhalation from a fire sparked by the crash. Her husband, who was visibly upset at the scene, and their 5-year-old child weren't home when the plane came in low and almost completely blew out the first floor of the house, the AP reports.

"He was trying to pull up; he would gain a little elevation and then drop again," says an eyewitness of the pilot and plane owner, Michael Rosenberg. "And that's when it appeared to have made a dive down into the neighborhood." Air traffic employees had talked about the number of birds near the airport just before Rosenberg fell off the radar screen, NBC Washington notes, "but it's too early in the investigation to blame a bird strike." Rosenberg, the CEO of a biopharma corporation, had survived a crash into nearby trees four years ago that totalled his $1.4 million turbo-prop plane. The NTSB blamed him for it, saying he failed "to maintain aircraft control while performing a go-around." His family says they are "in shock" and "devastated" to learn that others died in today's accident. (Read more plane crash stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |