WASHINGTON — Smoke inhalation caused the deaths of a Gaithersburg mother and two of her children after part of a small jet careened into their home Monday.
The three victims on the plane died of traumatic injuries, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.
On board the Embraer 500 jet were Chikioke Ogbuka, 31, Michael Rosenberg, 66, and David Hartman, 52, all of Raleigh, North Carolina, according to Montgomery County police.
Marie Gemmell, 36, and her sons Cole, 3, and Devin, 1.5 months, were found dead inside a bathroom inside their Drop Forge Lane home. Fire investigators believe Gemmell died trying to protect her children from the smoke and flames that destroyed their home after a portion of the plane careened into the structure.
They are survived by Gemmell’s husband Ken and a 5-year-old daughter, who was at school at the time of the accident, officials say.
Ken Gemmell posted on Facebook Tuesday about the tragedy.
“No words can describe the enormity of our loss and sadness over yesterday’s tragedy. We lost Marie, the love of my life and college sweetheart, and our two young, innocent and joyful sons – a loss that no person should ever endure.”
He continued, “The outpouring of support has been overwhelming, and my daughter and I are appreciative for the prayers and well wishes from friends, neighbors and the community. We also appreciate the dedication and hard work of the firefighters, police and other first responders who did everything in their power to try to save my family during this horrific event. There will be a lot of grieving over the coming weeks, and we request that the media respect our privacy so I can provide my daughter with some degree of normalcy as we try to re-build.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to support the Gemmell family.
Rosenberg was the founder and CEO of Health Decisions, a clinical research organization in Durham, North Carolina. Rosenberg piloted a plane that crashed in Gaithersburg on March 1, 2010.
“Everyone at Health Decisions is devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague Michael Rosenberg,” Health Decisions Vice President of Clinical Affairs Patrick Phillips said in a statement. “The thoughts of the management and employees of Health Decisions go out to Dr. Rosenberg’s family as well as to the families of the other passengers.”
Hartman, of Nuventra Pharma Sciences in North Carolina, was a scientist who developed drugs with an expertise in drug metabolism.
In a statement, Geoffrey Banks, CEO of Nuventra Pharma Sciences writes, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of David and will miss him both personally and professionally.”
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