Local News

Authorities Identify Victims In Wake County Plane Crash

Posted April 3, 2002 7:12 a.m. EST

— Authorities have identified the two people who died in Sunday's plane crash in Wake County.

Authorities said 47-year-old Louis M. Scheidt Jr. and his wife, 48-year-old Debye Horton Scheidt died when their twin-engine 1977 Piper plane was making an approach for landing at RDU International Sunday when the plane came apart in mid-air.

Authorities said the identifications were made using dental records.

The couple lived in Raleigh for five years. Louis worked for Caterpillar in Cary and Debye worked at the State Department of Agriculture. A memorial service is being planned for Thursday evening in Raleigh. The couple will be buried in Kentucky.

NTSB investigators removed the plane from the woods Tuesday and started to reassemble it in a large garage at the new Cary water treatment plant to look for a possible cause in the accident. They said it may be as much as six months before they know what caused the plane to crash.

"Inflight break-ups are not very common at all, but they do happen. We will take a very close look at what happened," NTSB investigator Butch Wilson said.

Investigators are looking into several factors that may have contributed to the crash, including the weather and the plane's maintenance history.

A memorial service and visitation for the couple is scheduled for Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church. It is located at 4415 Pleasant Grove Church Road.

Contributions can be made in the Scheidt's name to AOPA, Air Safety Foundation, 421 Frederick, MD 21701.