Burke resident dies in private plane crash, state police say

Two people, including a 73-year-old Burke resident, were killed yesterday (Sunday) when their plane crashed in central Virginia, police say.

According to the Virginia State Police, the sheriff’s office in Fluvanna County got a 911 call at 8:54 a.m. from residents of Palmyra who reported seeing a “low-flying plane,” followed by “what sounded like an explosion.”

While searching “a densely wooded area” off of Miles Jackson Road, the state police, sheriff’s office and Virginia Conservation Police uncovered the airplane, which was on fire.

“The Palmyra, Fork Union, Kents Store and Lake Monticello Fire Companies responded to the scene to attend to extinguish the fire and assist law enforcement,” the VSP said. “Fluvanna County Emergency Services also responded to the scene.”

The pilot, 63-year-old John W. Latham from Haymarket, and passenger, Niiben C.A. Ayivorh of Burke, both died in the crash, according to the state police.

The privately owned plane — a twin-engine 1975 Rockwell Aero Commander 690A — left the Manassas Regional Airport yesterday morning and was bound for the Georgetown County Airport in South Carolina, the VSP says, noting that “there was a light rain at the time of the crash.”

Latham’s and Ayivorh’s remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for examination and autopsy. An investigation into the crash will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.