NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Viktoria Ljungman’s former roommate, Myana Mabry, described her as the nicest person she has met in two decades.
Ljungman, a 23-year-old flight instructor, died in a plane crash Thursday.
The single-engine Cessna 172 airplane crashed around 3:05 p.m. Our 10 On Your Side investigative team confirmed it is owned by Rick Aviation, a flight school in Newport News.
In a news release from the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, officials say the aircraft crashed into the woods upon take-off.
State Police added that the plane reached an altitude of approximately 100 feet, veered off course and crashed into the embankment adjacent to the runway.
Police say the plane was piloted by a student, 18-year-old Oluwagbohunmi Ayomide Oyebode of Hanover, Maryland. He was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, then transferred to VCU Hospital in Richmond.
State Police officials say the female instructor, Ljungman, died at the scene. She was a licensed commercial pilot as well as a flight instructor.
Ljungman’s former roommate was shocked when she received a message about the crash.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Mabry said. “I’m hurt.”
Mabry and Ljungman met during their first year at Hampton University. They both lived in Kennedy Hall together, and later became roommates.
Mabry said Ljungman was an intelligent and adventurous person who radiated positive energy.
“She just was her being so authentic, people were naturally drawn to her,” she said.
Mabry said the pair never went a day without seeing each other while in college.
She said they would often have conversations about where they came from. One of her favorite memories was a simple conversation about Swedish culture. Ljungman was describing a holiday called Midsummer. Mabry said it was one of her favorite holidays. Ljungman played some Swedish music for her friends.
“At night, they are lit. I said ‘Viktoria, what music do y’all listen to?’ She pulled up some of the songs,” Mabry said. “It was just a moment of pure laughter and education overall.”
Despite the pair coming from different backgrounds, she said they complemented each other so well.
“She is the best roommate because she taught me so much,” Mabry said.
Mabry said Ljungman was excited to become an airline pilot.
“It was just the passion to see the world,” she said.
Mabry always bragged about her roommate’s accomplishments. Mainly because she got her commercial pilot license at such a young age.
“To know, hey, my roommate is a legend. Not a legend in the making, but a legend,” she said. “It was just so rewarding to see her dreams become a reality.”
Mabry said chasing her dreams included an early wake-up call.
“Viktoria did it all. She woke up early and went to bed early,” she said.
Early in the morning, Ljungman would head to tennis practice. Mabry described her as one of the best tennis players at Hampton.
Mabry said Ljungman was loved by every person she met at Hampton.
“We did not play about Viktoria. She was family. That’s my sister,” she said.
Mabry said their graduating class is working to organize donations for her family.