MARIETTA, Ohio — The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released the names of the two men who were killed when a private plane crashed at a car dealership parking lot in Marietta Tuesday morning.
The occupants were identified as 49-year-old Timothy F. Gifford of Orient, Ohio and 45-year-old Eric S. Seevers of Parkersburg, W.Va.
Gifford was a firefighter with the Columbus Division of Fire and retired in May, according to Battalion Chief Jeffrey Geitter.
The crash happened at approximately 7:15 a.m. at the Pioneer Buick GMC dealership on Pike Street. The plane involved was a 1974 Beechcraft King Air E90.
Marietta police told 10TV that the plane took off from John Glenn Columbus International Airport at 6:40 a.m.
Officers with the Marietta Police Department arrived at the scene and saw heavy fire and smoke in the area. Other emergency crews responded and the fire was put out.
No one who was on the ground was reportedly injured. OSHP said multiple vehicles and buildings at the dealership were damaged from the crash.
The crash remains under investigation.
Gifford's family released a statement on Wednesday, saying they are grateful for the support they have received:
“As has been reported, our beloved Tim died in a plane crash yesterday. Although his family and friends are utterly shattered, we are so very grateful for the outpouring of support from the communities of Columbus and Marietta.
We would like to thank the first responders, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and those who have reached out to express their love and care during this difficult time. Our hearts go out to the family of Eric Seevers, as we pray for their comfort and peace.
Tim is survived by his parents, sister, wife, three sons, two daughters-in-law, two grandsons, and many other family and friends."
Friends of Seevers described him as a devoted father, a good friend and an accomplished musician. You can read more about Seevers here.