Pilot, Married Couple and Real Estate Agent Among 6 Killed in Calif. Plane Crash

·3 min read
Bret Ebaugh
Bret Ebaugh


Loved ones are paying tribute to the victims who died in a plane crash that occurred in Northern California this week.

According to the Nevada County Sheriff's Office, pilots Thomas "Bret" Ebaugh, 56, and Alberto Montero De Collado De La Rosa, 43, were killed with passengers John Dunn, 62, Kevin Kvarnlov, 34, and Ryan and Christine Thomas, 38 and 33, on Monday afternoon when their Bombardier CL 600 jet crashed blocks away from Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee, California.

Ebaugh's wife confirmed his death via Facebook, while Hideaway Properties confirmed the deaths of the Thomases and Kvarnlov, KESQ reported.

Kvarnlov worked as a real estate agent at Hideaway Properties, an on-site sales office at Hideaway Golf Course, according to KESQ. The Thomases were reportedly owners and members.

The company did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment regarding the crash.

On social media, friends and family described Ebaugh as someone who wanted to share his enjoyment of planes with others.

"So very sorry to hear about the tragic plane crash that took the life of Bret Ebaugh on Monday," wrote friend Robin Swartz on Facebook, in part. "It was obvious that you absolutely loved your job as a pilot."

"May God be with you and your family at this difficult time," she added.

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Renee Maler, who met Ebaugh in elementary school, called him one of her "kindest, funniest, sweetest friends." Noah Wever, who worked with Ebaugh at Home Depot, said he "lived life hard" and was filled with "amazing stories."

Pictures of the crash published online showed a fiery and heartbreaking scene, with debris scattered between burnt trees and along a nearby road outside of the airport. A video from a home surveillance camera showed a fireball erupt after the plane hit the ground, barely missing a school bus that passed a few seconds earlier.

In a statement to PEOPLE, the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators arrived at the scene on Tuesday, and they plan to transfer the wreckage to a facility on Friday.

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"Once on scene investigators will begin the process of documenting the scene and examining the aircraft," they said. "Part of the investigation will be to request radar data, weather information, air traffic control communication, airplane maintenance records and the pilot's medical records."

They continued: "NTSB investigators will look at the human, machine and environment as the outline of the investigation."

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The organization said it is too early to state the cause of the crash but they will publish a preliminary report 15 days from the accident.

"Investigations involving fatalities, and other major investigations currently take between 12 and 24 months to complete, other investigations take between 12 and 18 months, on average," the NTSB explained.

The plane originally took off from Coeur D'Alene Airport in Idaho, officials added.

According to ABC affiliate KXTV, this is the second plane crash to occur in the area over the last two months.