Grandparents Killed in Plane Crash on Their Way to North Carolina to See Family for Thanksgiving

Patty Kreher and Joe Kreher were reportedly traveling from St. Louis to visit their grandchildren

grandparents killed in plane crash

Two grandparents were killed in a Winston-Salem, N.C., plane crash on their way to see family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Patty Kreher and Joe Kreher of Freeburg, Ill., were flying to the east coast Saturday to visit their son and grandchildren when their plane went down, family told WGHP, adding that the two had made the trip from St. Louis to North Carolina multiple times before.

grandparents killed in plane crash

The couple's Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche crashed northeast of downtown, miles from the Smith Reynolds airport, around 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, the outlet shares.

A spokesperson for the Winston-Salem Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, although the WSPD did confirm that two people died in the crash to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Data from shows that the plane landed in London, Ky., an hour and 45 minutes after taking off, and looped around that airport. It was then rescheduled to land at 11:10 a.m. at Smith Reynolds.

Images from the crash show the wreck just feet away from a home, as the plane appeared to be split in half.

National Transportation Safety Board officials cleared the wreckage Monday morning, per WGHP, as footage shows the area taped off. Crew members used saws to cut the plane up before they eventually towed it away with a pickup truck.

Sergeant C.G. Byrd with North Carolina State Highway Patrol told WGHP that the plane crashed in a woodline of a residential area, although no other injuries have been reported. The pilot reportedly spoke with the control tower before the crashing, sharing that their engine was "not making as much power as the other one."

Susan Harrison-Bailey told the Winston-Salem Journal that the plane came down near her backyard and did not hit her home. The publication reports that the crash will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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"I couldn't tell that it was a plane," Harrison-Bailey said. "There was a lot of smoke ... I could see it was smashed into the trees. It landed straight up and down."

The crash comes just a month after three people died when a small plane crashed into a home in Minnesota. The Cessna 172 made impact on the second floor of a Hermantown home in before coming to a halt in the residents' backyard.

The two occupants of the home were not injured. Victims of that crash were later identified as Tyler Fretland, 32, of Burnsville, who was the airplane's pilot, Alyssa Schmidt, 32, of St. Paul, and her brother, Matthew Schmidt, 31, of Burnsville.

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