Mystery remains in deadly Hancock County plane crash - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Mystery remains in deadly Hancock County plane crash

Damage where the plane crashed Damage where the plane crashed
Tiesha McQuin (Source: Tomecia McQuin) Tiesha McQuin (Source: Tomecia McQuin)
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HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Officials are still searching for answers after a deadly plane crash that occurred Sunday in Hancock County.

The smell of burnt metal lingered in the air on Monday at the site of a deadly plane crash on County Road 18 in Cass Township. Debris from the wreck was still scattered across the front yard of a vacant mobile home where the small plane landed.

A resident at the only occupied home nearby, which sits feet away from where the plane crashed, spent Monday combing through her yard gathering pieces of shattered glass and plane parts left behind.

Authorities from the FAA, the NTSB, and the Hancock County Sheriff's Office cleared the scene at 9 p.m. Sunday, reopening County Road 18.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office has handled five plane crashes since the 1980's, but according to Sheriff Heldman, the crash on Sunday, July 27, was the worst.

"This is probably the most devastation, as far as damage," said Heldman.

Around 1 a.m. Sunday, a small Lancair aircraft traveling from Holland, Michigan to Bluffton, Ohio crashed off County Road 18, exploding from the speed and force of impact.

Friends and coworkers say Ralf Bronnenmeier, CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, OH, was the pilot, flying alongside a female passenger, said to be his girlfriend. Family members confirm Tiesha McQuin was also killed in the crash.

The Hancock County Coroner's Office has not yet confirmed the identity of each victim due to the poor condition of the bodies.

"Incapacitation and devastated bodies are what we have to deal with," said Sheriff Heldman.

The sheriff's office is working to complete its report of the crash and hand over the investigation to the NTSB. The NTSB and FAA will then work to determine what factors caused the plane to crash.

Sheriff Heldman said it seems "unusual" for someone to fly a small aircraft at that time of night.
WTOL reached out to Grob Systems. Company representatives said while they are thankful for the condolences, they are not ready to comment on the passing of Bronnenmeier.

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