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Israeli tech entrepreneurs die in California plane crash | US news

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Israeli tech entrepreneurs die in California plane crash | US news

US news

NTSB and FAA to look into crash that killed investors Naomi Petrushka and Liron Petrushka, an ex-professional soccer player

Sun 31 Mar 2024 12.25 EDT

A couple from Israel who made a name for themselves as well as a fortune in the tech industry were killed after their plane crashed in a California town near the Nevada border on Saturday night, according to officials and reports.

Identified by Israeli media as former professional soccer player Liron Petrushka and Naomi Petrushka, the married couple had been living in California over the last few years. They were attempting to land at Truckee Tahoe airport shortly after 6.30pm on Saturday when their plane crashed and they died.

The plane departed from Centennial airport in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday at about 4.20pm, according to FlightAware.

In a post on Facebook, Truckee Tahoe airport officials described the plane as a single-engine TBM aircraft N960LP. It added that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) would investigate the cause of the deadly crash.

Moderate snow was falling at the time of the crash with visibility of a half-mile (0.8 kilometers), though winds were light, the local news station KCRA-TV reported.

The Truckee police department said separately at the time of the crash that the fallen plane did not pose any threat to surrounding structures, and no road closures were necessary.

According to the CTech, a news outlet on Israeli startups, the Petrushkas were well-known tech investors and entrepreneurs. In addition to investments in financial and tech organizations, the couple also founded and sold their company CommerceBid in 1999 for over $200m, CTech reports.

Liron additionally played for the Israeli football team Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim.

In a statement reported by the Times of Israel, the team’s chairperson Einav Hazenvald said: “The club bows its head for the death of Liron Petrushka and his wife … Liron grew up in the club from the age of 10 and passed through all the teams in the club, including the adults’ team. He played with me in the youth team, where we won the national championship, as well as in the adult team.”

Truckee is about 30 miles (52 kilometers) southwest of Reno, Nevada.

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