Virginia state police have identified the five persons killed Sunday in the crash of a single-engine airplane in Prince William County as three members of an Alexandria family and two relatives.
Trooper R.A. Black said Theodore Edward Hall III, 33, of 5811 Edsall Rd., his wife Catherine, 33, their 5-month-old son Theodore, and Hall's mother and stepfather were aboard the plane when it took off about 12:40 p.m. from Woodbridge Airport 30 miles south of Washington.
Catherine Hall and the infant were killed instantly when the plane crashed and burst into flames in a heavily wooded ravine about 100 yards beyond the runway. Theodore Hall was thrown clear of the wreckage but died aboard a helicopter en route to the Washington Hospital Center MedStar unit, Black said.
Also killed in the crash were Herbert and Evelyn Ewing, both in their sixties, of Holmdel, N.J. Herbert Ewing was the owner and pilot of the Rockwell Commander 112B, a four-passenger aircraft, police said.
Trooper Black said the family members apparently were on their way to Lexington, Va., to visit friends for the holiday weekend.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Theodore Hall was an architect with Settles Associate Inc., an Arlington firm, and his wife worked for BOAT/U.S., an Alexandria-based national association of boat owners.
"She's going to be irreplaceable," said Mike Sciulla, a vice president of BOAT/U.S. who said Hall had worked for the association about three years.
The Halls had lived in a garden apartment in the Landmark Terrace complex for about two years, according to neighbors. Sciulla said the Halls had been planning to build a house near the Potomac in Virginia.
A resident manager in the apartment complex where the family lived said she was shocked by reports of the tragedy. "This is terrible. They were a very pleasant, nice family."
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Al Dickinson said the wreckage of the craft was taken to a hangar at the airport yesterday to be examined for any mechanical malfunctions that might have contributed to the crash.
"The plane more or less stayed intact when it crashed, but a lot of it was damaged by the fire."
A flight instructor who witnessed the takeoff said the plane banked suddenly to the left after taking off and veered downward before disappearing into a line of trees.
Dickinson said the craft's propeller appeared to have been functioning properly because it sheared off the top of a 40-foot oak tree as it fell. Dickinson said investigators are also trying to determine if the left wingtip of the plane brushed some trees near the end of the runway as the plane climbed into the air.
"It may have brushed some trees, but it didn't damage them, and I don't think that changed his direction or slowed him down any," Dickinson said. There was also speculation that the craft, designed to carry a maximum weight of 2,650 pounds and which had been fully fueled before its departure, might have been overloaded with baggage and other personal items, he said.
"Even though they may have been in compliance with the seating capacity of the plane, when you put baggage aboard and account for fuel, you can wind up being overweight," Dickinson said.