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Who were Joseph and Patty Kreher? Granddad killed in plane crash with wife was certified flight instructor

Joseph Kreher had communicated to the airport radio tower that there was a problem before the plane went down
Joseph and Patty Kreher died when their small, twin-engine Piper PA-30 aircraft crashed (Joe Kreher/Facebook and laurencrawford/Twitter)
Joseph and Patty Kreher died when their small, twin-engine Piper PA-30 aircraft crashed (Joe Kreher/Facebook and laurencrawford/Twitter)

WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA: Joseph Kreher, 64, and Patty Kreher, 66, were killed when their plane, a Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, crashed in North Carolina on Saturday, November 19. The couple was on their way to celebrate Thanksgiving with their son and his family when tragedy struck.

According to KSDK, the Krehers had departed from the St Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Illinois, and made a stop in London, Kentucky, before their plane ultimately crashed around 11.15 am, just minutes away from the runway at the Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem.


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Not much detail was available about the couple but Daily Mail has now reported that Kreher was a certified flight instructor, as per the National Association of Flight Instructors. The couple was regarded as essential members of their town of fewer than 5,000 people in Freeburg, Illinois. Needless to say, the community was shocked by their tragic death as they sent condolences to the family. "It's just going to be hard for everyone that knew Joe and Patty," Freeburg Mayor Seth Speiser stated in an interview. He added, "I knew Joe and Patty, they had a machine shop off of 159, very well-liked people in the area." General Machine, a store selling large machinery, was run by the Krehers. Feeling sorry for the couple's families, Mayor stated, "They had an unbelievable business out there. I feel sorry for all the families that work there too. Because it was a mom-and-pop shop and now mom and pop are no longer there."

The Kehrers' son Brian, whom the couple was visiting, put up a post with his parents and concerned family members and friends offering their condolences. A person who was previously employed by the Krehers wrote "Completely saddened and shocked to hear the news. Your parents were such wonderful people. Working for them through college was a blessing for me in so many ways. They were such kind, good-hearted people. They will be missed. Prayers for you and your family."


The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained but reports suggest the grandparents had reportedly been circling the runway before the 'airplane lost control' and hit the ground. Pictures from the site of the crash show the plane split in half as the debris lay inches away from a home.

Pete Wentz with the National Transportation Safety Board provided an update on the crash saying that the Krehers approached from the west, ready to land on runway 3-3 before they began to circle the sky near the airport. “The pilot communicated saying he needed to circle the airport for a second attempt and during the circling maneuver, the airplane lost control and impacted the ground,” Wentz said. "We'll be looking into the environment, what the weather was, and what the impact was on that flight," Wentz said mentioning the way the investigation would be progressing. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are involved in the investigation.