A family of seven on board a small plane were killed when it crashed in Alabama after an engine failed - leaving behind a teenage daughter who was too sick to fly, authorities said.
The Teutenberg couple and their five young children were returning to Florida from a family reunion in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday night when the crash happened, authorities said.
Fred and Terresa Teutenberg died, but her oldest child, Ashlei Bruewer, 16, was not on the plane because she was too ill to fly at the time.
The Teutenbergs: Fred and Teressa are pictured in this family photo with their children Emma, Peyton, Ellie, Brendon and Will. Mrs Teutenberg's oldest child, Ashlei Bruewer, circled right, was not on the plane
Plane: The family were flying in a Cessna C421 similar to the one pictured and tried to land at an airport
Ashlei lives in St. Louis and was planning to join her mother and stepfather in Florida, a coroner said.
They tried landing the Cessna C421 at an airport in Demopolis, Alabama, after it lost its right engine, but the plane crashed in a densely wooded area nearby.
'My mum was always smiling and extremely caring. My stepdad was a great dad and was always helping people in any way he could'
The coroner identified the dead as Fred Teutenberg, 42; his wife, Terresa, 36; their daughter Emma, 2; son Peyton, 4; daughter Ellie, 6; son Brendon, 9; and son Will, 10.
They were from area of Destin, Florida. Ashlei told the Northwest Florida Daily News that the children were 'bright and always laughing'.
'My mum was always smiling and extremely caring,' she said. 'My stepdad was a great dad and was always helping people in any way he could.'
On the ground: Fred Teutenberg, right, who is thought to have been flying the plane, is pictured in front of a light aircraft
Family photos: Terresa Teutenberg, a mother-of-five, is pictured with her children, before the fatal crash
Marengo County Coroner Stuart Eatmon said that relatives told him the Teutenbergs were flying back to Saturday so they could make it to church the next day.
‘I thought I had seen it all, up until this. I've seen small plane crashes with one person, but not a whole family,’ said Mr Eatmon, who was a paramedic for 23 years.
The plane was found upside-down and a wing had broken off - apparently as it crashed into trees. Searchers located it early on Sunday morning. The crash site is only accessible by all-terrain vehicle.
Official records show that the plane was built in 1978 and it is registered to Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions LLC in Niceville, Florida.
A message left seeking comment from the company wasn't immediately returned.
Tragic: The children were returning to Florida with their parents after a family reunion in St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday night when the crash happened
Gone: Searchers located the plane early Sunday morning and a coroner identified the dead family
Friends told The Northwest Florida Daily News that Fred Teutenberg did volunteer work and played bass guitar every Sunday with the church band at First United Methodist Church of Niceville.
'He not only played with our band, he played with other church bands elsewhere,' said Bob Webb, a friend and member of the church.
'He told me one time he even toured a while. So he had a lot of interests.'
Mr Eatmon told CNN that Mr Teutenberg was thought to have been flying the plane.
He also revealed that it took rescuers hours to recover the bodies from the wreckage because they had to wait for the plane to cool down.
Response team: Police and authorities attend the crash site in Alabama after the tragic accident on Saturday
Officials had to use an infra-red camera to locate the bodies which were burned 'beyond recognition'.
Nick Worrell, from the National Transportation Safety Board which is investigating the crash, revealed it would take a long time to investigate the incident because the wreckage was so deep in the woods.
Mrs Teutenberg owned Discovery Learning Academy in Bluewater Bay. An academy spokesman said she was an ‘excellent leader and role model’ and will be ‘greatly missed’ in the community.
Mr Eatmon spoke to Mr Teutenberg's father after the crash, who said he had been telling his son to buy a newer plane if he was going to fly with his family.
‘He told his dad the plane had two new engines,’ Mr Eatmon said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013348/Family-seven-killed-Alabama-plane-crash-engine-fails.html#ixzz1RpGbpP2a
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