5 dead in plane crash at St. Croix airport

By Ernice Gilbert, VI Consortium

Police blocked the east entrance of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport road on Thursday night, allowing first responders and investigators to respond to the site of a plane crash. The incident left all five occupants of the aircraft dead.

(VI CONSORTIUM) — A plane crash near the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on Thursday night left all five occupants of the aircraft dead, The Consortium can confirm.

Police Commissioner Delroy Richards told The Consortium that the aircraft, a private chartered plane, took off from the St. Croix airport and soon after starting experiencing engine problems, with flames coming from one of its two engines. The pilot circled back and attempted to land at the airport, but the plane crashed in a field area near the runway, leaving all occupants, including the pilot, dead, Mr. Richards said.

The commissioner said the plane was a Baron-branded aircraft.

David Goodrich, commander of St. Croix Rescue’s extrication team, who was on the scene of the incident, told The Consortium that by the time they arrived on the scene, there was nothing they could do.

The plane included one member of the Stylee Band, however The Consortium will withhold the member’s name because next of kin notification still needs to occur.

The V.I.P.D. cordoned off the east and west entrances of the airport, only allowing in first responders. A medical examiner vehicle was spotted making its way to the scene, and a first responder at the crash site told this publication that emergency personnel were still investigating the incident at about 11:06 p.m. on Thursday.

The tragedy has cast a cloud of sadness over the territory, as the Stylee Band, currently one of the territory’s premier groups, is known to help carry the festival season, especially their performances during the Festival Village, j’ouvert morning and the parades.

And the news of the crash and the plane’s high-profile occupant sent a shock through social media, with thousands already mourning the unfortunate occurrence.

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2 comments

  1. On the issue of the Aircraft going down . It throws the whole Christmas Family reunion out of gear. We weep with the family involved , Life is very precious.
    For some reason , I feel some one is to be held responsible for the disaster , I know it could be avoided if
    Standard Operating Procedures ( S.O P .) was carried out , this includes the pilot requesting information on work done on the Aircraft. THis could mobilize the pilot in " Aerobatic and emergency Maneuvers , saving lives.
    In Aviation operation, there is no " ROOM FOR ERROR " , That is one of the reasons why Highly Trained Specialist with years of experience under controlled , strict supervision , accompanied by " F. A . A. " certified instructor are assigned to train new people coming in.
    From the appearance of this problem, I believe the " AD . PUMP " Malfunction . When you purchase a replacement it carries a Life Time Warranty . , Eg. if the warranty states it has a 5000 hours , do not exceed it. In summary I would assume the Aircraft went short on Lubricant " Engine oil. I am hoping this is a learning exercise for the specialist " servicing Engineer ".
    I was not there in person, but I believe I have the right to summarize through my training. Thanks .

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  2. last night was such a sad night receiving this news. after stx has gone thru so much with 2 cat 5 hurricanes within 2 wks with a wutless no filter governor, there are some places still with no power. many ppl were looking forward to the upcoming carnival season to jam to stylee as the best stress reliever and now this. not only have they lost a music band, they have lost a cultural icon of this present generation. my heart is heavy for the families mourning their deaths. RIP to all who have perished.

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