One person died Tuesday when a small private plane crashed into a UPS freight terminal outside the Roanoke Regional Airport in Virginia, a hospital official confirmed Wednesday.
Two people were aboard the plane. A Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital spokesman said that Peter Sheeran died after the accident and that John Whitmer was listed in serious condition Tuesday. CNN affiliate WDBJ identified Sheeran as the pilot.
Jill Demko, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, told reporters Wednesday that the pilot and passenger flew into Roanoke for a business meeting and headed back to Charlottesville, Virginia, about 1 p.m. in the plane, a Piper Malibu.
The pilot said he had a flight control problem and needed to go back to the airport. She said the plane struck wires, then the ground. The accident occurred about 1:10 p.m.
"There was a severe post-crash fire, so that does complicate our investigation," Demko said. "However, we have accounted for all of the flight control surfaces and all of the components of the aircraft. Those are at the accident scene. And the wreckage path itself is relatively confined - it's only about 100 yards."