Six dead as small jet crashes into Md. home – New York Daily News

Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2014
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Marie Gemmell, seen here with her husband, was killed along with two of her children when a plane crashed into her Gaithersburg, Md., home Monday morning.
Cole GemmellFacebook
One of her two children killed with her in the crash has been identified as her young son, Cole, pictured.
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GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Six people were killed when a private jet crashed into a Maryland home, killing a mother and her two children inside the house as she apparently tried to shield them from harm, authorities said.


The bodies of Marie Gemmell and her two sons, 3-year-old Cole and a 1-month-old Devon, were recovered inside a second-floor bathroom several hours after the plane carrying three people gutted the Gaithersburg residence around 10:45 a.m. Monday, said Montgomery County police Capt. Paul Starks.


Gemmell and her boys appear to have survived the initial impact with the mother’s body found atop those of her children, suggesting she was attempting to shield them from the flames in their final moments, authorities said.


Gemmell’s husband arrived at the scene later and appeared to be in shock, reported WUSA9, which also reported the mother was home on maternity leave at the time.

Marie Gemmell, a mother of three, was reportedly home on maternity leave when she was killed along with her two youngest children when a plane crashed into her house Monday. Marie Gemmell, a mother of three, was reportedly home on maternity leave when she was killed along with her two youngest children when a plane crashed into her house Monday.


The couple’s oldest, school-age daughter was not home and has been accounted for, police said.


A neighbor of the couple, who didn’t want to be identified, described Gemmell to the Daily News as a “very nice lady. She was very sweet.”


“Whenever she sees us doing something in the garden, she always stops by to talk,” the woman said. “I can’t believe that she’s gone. It’s very sad.”


Among those killed onboard the plane heading to a nearby air field in Maryland from Chapel Hill, N.C., was Dr. Michael Rosenberg, who had survived another plane crash in Gaithersburg on March 1, 2010, according to a government official and local report.


It wasn’t immediately known if Rosenberg, who was a pilot and the founder and CEO of North Carolina clinical research organization, Health Decisions, was piloting the jet when it crashed.


In the previous crash, Rosenberg crash landed into trees at the nearby Montgomery County Airpark but escaped with non-life-threatening injuries,
the Gazette reported at the time.

An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into this Maryland house Monday morning, killing three people and leaving three more people immediately unaccounted for.Kris Connor/New York Daily News
An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into this Maryland house Monday morning, killing three people and leaving three more people immediately unaccounted for.
Three people who lived in this home were not immediately located after the crash.Kris Connor/New York Daily News
Three people who lived in this home were not immediately located after the crash.
Part of the plane is seen blocking a home's entrance.Kris Connor/New York Daily News
Part of the plane is seen blocking a home’s entrance.
A firefighter is seen working to put out the flames in the Maryland neighborhood.Kris Connor/New York Daily News
A firefighter is seen working to put out the flames in the Maryland neighborhood.
Part of the jet that crash is seen being extinguished by firefighters.Kris Connor/New York Daily News
Part of the jet that crash is seen being extinguished by firefighters.
  • An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into a house in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Md killing three and with a three additional missing on December 8th, 2014. Kris Connor/New York Daily News
  • An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine plane crashed into a house in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Md killing three and with a three additional missing on December 8th, 2014. Kris Connor/New York Daily News
  • An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into a house in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Md killing three and with a three additional missing on December 8th, 2014. Kris Connor/New York Daily News
  • An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into a house in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Md killing three and with a three additional missing on December 8th, 2014. Kris Connor/New York Daily News
  • An Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet crashed into a house in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, Md killing three and with a three additional missing on December 8th, 2014. Kris Connor/New York Daily News

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Like that 2010 crash, the six-passenger jet in Monday’s crash, identified as an Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine, was attempting to land at that same airpark.


Gemmell’s neighbor, who lives about a block away, said that planes flying overhead have long been a concern of theirs.


“We always have that fear. We’re still worried about that,” she told The News. “Recently they started flying really low. I don’t know why.”





The plane’s black box, containing the flight’s data, has since been recovered in “good physical condition,” said National Transportation Safety Board investigator Robert Sumwalk at an evening press conference.


The cause of the crash remained unknown as of Monday night with NTSB investigators expected to remain at the scene for several days, said Sumwalk.


“I heard like a loud crash, and the whole house just shook,” neighbor Emily Gradwohl said. “We got jackets on, ran outside and saw one of the houses completely set on fire.”

A small plane has crashed into a Gaithersburg, Md,, home and several homes caught fire, according to Montgomery County police.Montgomery County (MD) Fire & Rescue Service
A small plane has crashed into a Gaithersburg, Md,, home and several homes caught fire, according to Montgomery County police.
Phenom 100 sits at Embraer hangarPaulo Fridman/Corbis
A Phenom 100 twin-engine jet like this one crashed in Maryland with three people on board.
  • A small plane has crashed into a Gaithersburg, Maryland home and several homes are on fire, according to Montgomery County police.
  • Phenom 100 sits at Embraer hangar

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“When I opened my window, I could see smoke over the trees and I heard a small explosion, like a pop,” said Byron Valencia, who lives nearby. “I could see the smoke rising … It’s scary.”


Gaithersburg resident Fred Pedreira was parking his car after going grocery shopping when he saw the plane go down.


“This guy, when I saw him, for a fast jet with the wheels down, I said, ‘I think he’s coming in too low,'” Pedreira said. “Then he was 90 degrees — sideways — and then he went belly-up into the house and it was a ball of fire. It was terrible.


“I tell you, I got goosebumps when I saw it. I said, ‘My God, those are people in that plane,'” he continued before adding his hopes that nobody was inside the home.


With News Wire Services 

dboroff@nydailynews.com

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