Small plane crashes into Hermantown, Minnesota home, moments after take-off killing all 3 passengers, husband and wife residents, Jason and Crystal Hoffman survive. Victims id as Alyssa and Matthew Schmidt and pilot, Tyler Fretland. Cause of crash yet to be determined.
A small plane crashed into a Minnesota home over the weekend, killing all three people on board and narrowly sparing two residents of the home, who were uninjured according to reports.
The Cessna 172 aircraft crashed into the second floor of the home in Hermantown, about 16 miles west of Duluth, just on Saturday midnight, before it landed in the backyard, according to information released by the city.
The deceased were identified as Alyssa Schmidt, 32, of St. Paul; her brother, Matthew Schmidt, 31, of Burnsville, a city just south of Minneapolis; and pilot Tyler Fretland, 32, also of Burnsville, according to a statement from Hermantown city officials.
Joe Wicklund, the communications director for Hermantown, told NBC News that the plane ‘just barely’ missed the two residents of the home, who Wicklund said were on the second floor and had been asleep for an hour and a half before the plane hit their home.
Video shows (see below) a hole in the middle of the front of the roof, debris scattered on the grass around the home and what appears to be at least half of the rear part of the house destroyed.
🚨VIDEO: 3 dead after plane crash in Hermantown, Minnesotapic.twitter.com/96IqVBjJ5y
— Breaking News (@NewsJunkieBreak) October 2, 2022
Cause of crash yet to be determined
Officials with Duluth International Airport stated the aircraft had crashed a mile and a half south of the airport, just moments after take off.
The Duluth News Tribune reported that the homeowners, Jason and Crystal Hoffman, have lived there for seven years after having moved from Worthington, Minnesota, near the border of Iowa.
‘I’m still not sure what to think,’ Jason Hoffman told the Tribune on Sunday morning. ‘It doesn’t seem real at all. We’re just lucky. The loss of life is heartbreaking. At the same time we’re grateful for making it through this.’
Hoffman said he remembered ‘waking up to a very loud explosion and my wife screaming.’
‘The first thing I thought was that the furnace exploded,’ the husband added.
Upon surveying the scene, the startled man saw an airplane wheel next to his bed and realized there had been a crash.
Adding, ‘That’s when we looked out and noticed the entire back half our house was gone.’
The couple found their cat unharmed in the basement and they eventually left the home when the dust became too much to bear, despite neighbors’ warnings to stay inside, as there were live power lines around the home.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, Wicklund said, adding that the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.