3 die when plane hits Minnesota house; 2 inside home wake up to see “an airplane wheel sitting at the end of our bed”

Victims of Hermantown plane crash identified


Victims of Hermantown plane crash identified

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Three people aboard a small airplane died when it crashed into a house near a northern Minnesota airport, but the two people sleeping inside the home – and their cat – were unhurt.

Hermantown Police said the Cessna 172 plane crashed into the second floor of the home just south of the Duluth airport late Saturday, before coming to rest in the backyard.

Police have identified the victims as Alyssa Schmidt, 32, of St. Paul, her brother, Matthew Schmidt, 31, of Burnsville, and the pilot Tyler Fretland, 32, of Burnsville, CBS Minnesota reported.

Jason Hoffman told Minnesota Public Radio that he and his wife had been asleep for just over an hour before the plane tore through the roof above their bed.

“We couldn’t hardly see each other through all the insulation dust. I was able to grab a flashlight next to the bed and the first thing I saw was an airplane wheel sitting at the end of our bed,” Hoffman said. “That’s when we looked out and noticed the entire back half our house was gone.”

Hoffman said the wreckage of the plane wound up wedged between his truck and the garage.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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