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'They were a joy to coach'; 4 Case Western University students killed in plane crash

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Four killed in plane crash at Cuyahoga County Airport. (Source: WOIO) Four killed in plane crash at Cuyahoga County Airport. (Source: WOIO)
Students at CRWU held a vigil Tuesday night in front of the ZBT house. (Source: WOIO) Students at CRWU held a vigil Tuesday night in front of the ZBT house. (Source: WOIO)
1999 Cessna model 172R is the type of plane that crashed in Richmond Heights. (Source: airportjournals.com) 1999 Cessna model 172R is the type of plane that crashed in Richmond Heights. (Source: airportjournals.com)
Four killed in plane crash at Cuyahoga County Airport. (Source: WOIO) Four killed in plane crash at Cuyahoga County Airport. (Source: WOIO)
Victims killed in plane crash, William Felten, Lucas Marcelli, Abraham Pishevar, John Hill. (Source: Facebook) Victims killed in plane crash, William Felten, Lucas Marcelli, Abraham Pishevar, John Hill. (Source: Facebook)
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are in the Cleveland area investigating a deadly plane crash. 

According to NTSB investigators, the plane never got very far off the ground Monday night. In fact, it crashed only about 50 yards off Cuyahoga County Airport property in Richmond Heights.

Four Case Western Reserve University students were killed when the small plane went down.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol one of the victims is William Felten, of Saginaw, MI. The 20-year-old was piloting the 1999 Cessna model 172R and had his temporary pilot license for a year and regular license for a month. 

Felten's passengers included Lucas Marcelli, 20, of Massillon, OH, along with Abraham Pishevar, 18, of Rockville, MD and John Hill, 18, of Saint Simons, GA.

Felten and Marcelli were second-year students, while this was Hill and Pishnevar's first year. Three of the four -- Marcelli, Pishevar and Hill -- were also members of the wrestling team.

"They're all hard-working. They're good students. They're respectful. They're a joy to coach," said Mark Hawald, wrestling coach at Case.

"We are truly heartbroken about these promising lives cut short," CWRU President Barbara Snyder said, "and feel profound sympathy for their loved ones and friends."

Willoughby Fire was among the first departments to get a call about the crash around 10:20 p.m.

The plane, which was rented, was engulfed in flames when they arrived at the intersection of Bishop Road and Curtiss Wright Parkway.

Officials say a flight plan was never filed, but that is not uncommon.

Upon hearing the news, Snyder released the following statement...

To the Case Western Reserve Community:

I write with profound sadness to inform you that we believe the four individuals killed in last night's local plane crash were undergraduates at our university. We are waiting for official confirmation of their identities by law enforcement, but the information we have secured to date provides us relative certainty. We have notified the parents of the young people involved, and representatives from University Counseling Services are working closely with their roommates and close friends. The counseling office will have walk-in hours all day today for those who wish to speak with someone about this tragedy.

We will provide additional updates as soon as possible. For now, please join me in extending our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these students.

Sincerely,
Barbara R. Snyder
President

Counseling and student affairs staff are working closely with the undergraduates' roommates and friends to provide support and guidance. The University Counseling office is accepting walk-ins all day.

A vigil was held outside of the Zeta Beta Tau house on the campus Tuesday night. 

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