Adina Azarian, her 2-year-old daughter, Aria, and nanny, were identified as the passengers of the aircraft by Azarian's father, John Rumpel — who runs the company that owns the aircraft — in an interview with the New York Times.
Azarian's live-in nanny was identified as Evadnie Smith, and the pilot as Jeff Hefner, according to the Washington Post. Kimberly Hefner, who is listed on social media as Hefner's wife, said "Papi Hefner" died doing what he loved doing: Flying.
Rumpel said the three were returning home to East Hampton in the Cessna 560 Citation V after a four-day visit to North Carolina just before the crash.
Officials tell NBC Washington that fighter pilots, deployed by NORAD in an attempt to intercept the plane over the DC area in the late-afternoon, saw the unresponsive Cessna pilot slumped over.
A search for the plane concluded at 8 p.m. Montebello, VA, when first responders reached the crash site by foot, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said.
The F-16s were deployed by NORAD around 3:50 p.m., in an attempt to make contact with the pilot, who was unresponsive, in the afternoon. The jets traveled at supersonic speeds, and created a sonic boom heard across the area, NORAD said in a release.
The plane had departed from Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, TN, and was headed for Long Island MacArthur Airport in Long Island, NY, with four people on board, the FAA said.
Meanwhile, the victims were being mourned as beloved community members.
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