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Small plane crash into home investigated; 3 dead


HERMANTOWN, Minn. — Federal investigators are hoping to determine what caused a single-engine plane to crash into a northern Minnesota home, killing three people on board and narrowly missing two sleeping people in the home.

Officials say the Cessna 172 Skyhawk crashed shortly before midnight Saturday in Hermantown minutes after departing Duluth International Airport.

Authorities on Sunday identified the victims as passengers Alyssa Schmidt, 32, of St. Paul, her brother Matthew Schmidt, 31, of Burnsville, and the pilot, Tyler Fretland, 32, of Burnsville.

Jason Hoffman told Minnesota Public Radio that he and his wife were sleeping on the second floor of their home when they were rocked by what looked like an explosion. The plane broke through the roof above their bed, he said.

“We could barely see each other through all the insulation dust. I was able to grab a flashlight next to the bed and the first thing I saw was an airplane wheel sitting on the end of our bed,” Hoffman said. “That’s when we looked outside and noticed the entire back half of our house was gone.”

Hoffman said the wreckage of the plane got stuck between his truck and the garage.

The Hermantown Police Department was notified by Duluth Airport Control Tower after the small plane left radar and was thought to have crashed. The control tower said the last location on radar was 1 to 1 1/2 miles south of the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

ABC News

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