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7 employees of Jewish family company among dead in Ohio plane crash

None of the 9 people aboard the Akron-bound flight, including a grandson of the firm’s founder, survived

Fire and rescue workers of the City of Akron, Ohio, continue the recovery process at the site of Tuesday's jet plane crash in Akron, Wednesday, November 11, 2015. (AP/Phil Long)
Fire and rescue workers of the City of Akron, Ohio, continue the recovery process at the site of Tuesday's jet plane crash in Akron, Wednesday, November 11, 2015. (AP/Phil Long)

Seven of nine people killed in an Ohio plane crash this week were from a Jewish family company in South Florida. No one survived the Tuesday evening crash of the chartered plane in Akron.

The passengers were employees of PEBB Enterprises, a real estate firm in Boca Raton founded by the late Paul Wiener. Eight of the people killed in the crash have been identified.

PEBB is a family business with its name taken from the first letters of the names of Paul Weiner, his wife, Eleanor, and their two children, Barbara and Bruce, the Palm Beach Post reported. Jared Weiner, Bruce’s son, is among those identified as victims of the crash.

Also killed were Diane Smoot, Thomas Virgin, Gary Shapiro, Ori Rom, Diana Suriel and Nick Weaver. Rom is Jared Wiener’s brother-in-law. Andres Chavez has been identified as one of the pilots of the plane.

Rabbis at two Boca Raton synagogues told WPTV that victims of the crash were members of their congregations.

“As anyone might expect, it’s surreal, it’s a shock, ” said Rabbi Robert Silvers of Congregation B’nai Israel.

The jet was operated by Execuflight, based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, and owned by Augusto Daniel Lewkowicz.

PEBB replaced its website’s home page with a message: “Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident that took the lives of two principals and five employees of Pebb Enterprises. We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished. Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers.”

The plane, which made no distress signals, crashed into a residential apartment building, destroying several apartments. No one was in the apartments at the time of the crash.

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