EASTERN KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. — A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board could be released as soon as later this month on the Friday night plane crash in eastern Kanawha County that killed two people.

Work to remove the wreckage from the Piper PA-32 plane that went down near Route 60 in the Riverside community, en route from Akron, Oh. to Spartanburg, S.C., continued on Monday.

C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County’s deputy emergency manager, said weather may or may not have been a factor in the crash that claimed the lives of Lazarus Sommers, 50, and Maryann Sommers, 56, a couple from Millersburg, Oh.

“We had a thunderstorm (at the time).  In fact, just about an hour or two hours previous to that, we had a fire in the St. Albans area due to lightning that set a house on fire and we drove through some pretty heavy weather getting to the location,” said Sigman.

The crash happened right before 5 p.m. Friday.  The single-engine plane had taken off from Akron Fulton International Airport earlier in the day and dropped off radar about 22 miles southeast of Charleston’s Yeager Airport.

It will be up to investigators with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration to determine what caused the crash.  A witness told MetroNews the plane “puttered” before the crash and there was no fire, indicating a possible lack of fuel.

“I don’t know,” said Sigman when asked about that possibility.  “Right now, it would be conjecture on my part (to say).  We just don’t know.”

Sigman was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

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