VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — We are learning more about a plane crash in Venice that killed four people from Indiana Wednesday night.
One of the passengers, Elizabethe Beaver, co-owned Indiana Elite Cheer & Tumbling. Outside, there’s a growing memorial with messages and flowers.
“I was heartbroken – that’s an understatement. My heart sank,” said Mackenzie Buck, an athlete with Indiana Elite.
Mackenzie Buck is in her seventh season cheering for Indiana Elite and is coached by Elizabethe. She called her a mother figure.
“This season will be way different, but I also believe everything that happens this year will be for her,” said Buck.
Venice police said the pilot William Lumpkin, 64, his wife Patricia Lumpkin, 68, and Rick Beaver, 60, and his wife Bethe Beaver, 57, were all killed in the crash.
“The occupants of the aircraft met with friends, had dinner at Sharkey’s on the Pier restaurant,” said Capt. Andy Leisenring of the Venice Police Department.
The small single-engine Piper aircraft crashed soon after taking off around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, a half a mile west of the Venice Pier.
Witnesses saw the incident and called 911. The four bodies have been recovered from the Gulf of Mexico and the wreckage was towed back to land on Thursday.
“The gym will never be the same, but we will carry on her legacy,” said Buck.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.
In January, a father, mother and their 12-year-old died in a similar plane crash after taking off from the Venice airport. A tragedy in both situations.