SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two people are dead as the result of a plane crash in Suffolk Saturday afternoon, Virginia State Police said.
A small passenger plane crashed around 12:16 p.m., according to Virginia State Police and Suffolk Fire & Rescue, and the plane was engulfed in fire after the crash in an area a quarter-mile off of Carolina Road.
Engine 8 arrived at 12:18 p.m. to find heavy smoke showing from a large area off of the 3900 block of Carolina Road.
Suffolk Fire Chief Mike Barakey said the crash caused a large area of brush and trees to catch fire, with homes in the area threatened by what it said was a rapidly-progressing fire. Barakey added that all residents affected have been safely evacuated.
Suffolk Fire & Rescue said the fire from the crash was spreading across approximately 35 acres of open field and forest. The fire was marked under control at 3:47 p.m.
In an update on Saturday night from Virginia State Police, the two victims who died in the crash were identified as 54-year-old Christian Rask Fauchald and 53-year-old Eric John Bergevin, both of Edenton.
Bergevin was president and chief executive officer of Integrated Financial Holdings in Raleigh.
“Eric was a passionate aviator who will be remembered as an incredible friend, colleague, leader, and most importantly, husband and father. In his professional life, Eric was a larger than life visionary with exceptional drive, entrepreneurial experience and banking intellect,” the company said in a release Monday.
Condolences have come in for the two men on social media.
A service for Bergevin will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Edenton Baptist Church in Edenton. The burial will follow in Beaver Hill Cemetery, according to an obituary on the Elizabeth City’s Daily Advance website.
Virginia State Police is providing updates on the investigation into the incident.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and provide additional updates, according to the FAA.
State Police said the make and model of the plane are currently unknown, but an update from the NTSB identified the plane as a Piper PA-28.
Once investigators verify the aircraft registration number at the scene, the FAA said it would release it.
Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.