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Death Toll Rises To 6 After Plane Crashes Into Maryland Home

The crash started a fire that destroyed a family's home in Gaithersburg, and police said Marie Gemmell died while trying to protect her sons, 3-year-old Cole and 1-month-old Devin.

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Updated — 8:20 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Marie Gemmell is pictured with her husband Ken, daughter Arabelle, and oldest son Cole.


Six people are now known to have died after a plane crashed into a suburban area of Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., striking a home and starting a fire around 10:40 a.m. ET.

The Montgomery County Police Department on Tuesday announced that officials had tentatively identified the plane's occupants as Michael Rosenberg, 66; David Hartman, 52, and Chijioke Ogbuka, 31; all of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The department also announced the identities of the three people who were found dead in the home as 36-year-old Marie Gemmell, 3-year-old Cole Gemmell, and one-month-old Devin Gemmell.

Shortly before the crash, the plane slowed to just over 100 mph, and pitched and rolled severely, National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday after a preliminary review of the plane's data recorder. The plane's computers also sounded an alarm about an aerodynamic stall.

Marie Gemmell is pictured with her husband Ken, daughter Arabelle, and son Cole.


The father of the two young boys who died in the crash, Ken Gemmell, said on Tuesday, his family had suffered an indescribable loss.

"No words can describe the enormity of our loss and sadness," Ken Gemmell said in statement emailed to The Associated Press. "We lost Marie, the love of my life and college sweetheart, and our two young, innocent and joyful sons a loss that no person should ever endure."

Gemmell and the couple's daughter, Arabelle, were not home at the time of the crash. He asked for privacy, as they mourn their loss and try to rebuild their lives.

Fire officials with Montogomery County said the plane crashed into a home on Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg, damaging two adjacent houses.


But Montgomery fire spokesman Pete Piringer later tweeted that the three people in the house were confirmed dead.

G'Burg plane crash has resulted in 6 fatalities, 3 on plane & 3 in house - news briefing shortly

Pete Piringer@mcfrsPIOFollow

G'Burg plane crash has resulted in 6 fatalities, 3 on plane & 3 in house - news briefing shortly

4:26 PM - 08 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The three people on the flight were from North Carolina and worked in the health care field, including the pilot, Dr. Michael J. Rosenberg, who is the CEO of North Carolina-based Health Decisions.

"Everyone at Health Decisions is devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague Michael Rosenberg," Health Decisions Vice President of Clinical Affairs Patrick Phillips, said in a statement carried by the Triangle Business Journal. "The thoughts of the management and employees of Health Decisions go out to Dr. Rosenberg's family as well as to the families of the other passengers."

David Hartman, 52, worked for a clinical pharmacology consulting firm, Nuventra Pharma Sciences, and the company's CEO said in a statement that they were deeply saddened by the loss. Chijioke Ogbuka, 31, worked for Health Decisions.

Michael Rosenberg, 66, had also been involved in a minor crash at the same airport in 2010, officials said.

Chief Lohr said the first 911 call was made at 10:44 a.m. ET reporting an explosion and fire, with fire crews on the scene seven minutes later.

The jet had reportedly turned on on final approach to land at the nearby airpark when the crash occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced identified the plane as a Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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