Officials identify two victims from deadly plane crash in DeKalb County

Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused a small plane to crash into a DeKalb County townhome on Wednesday morning killing two aboard.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Piper PA-28 went down shortly after departing from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport around 10:30 a.m. The airport confirmed two people were on board the plane when it took off.

The aircraft crashed into an apartment complex along Peachwood Circle, according to police. 

Resident Jared Hauck was working from home when the plane struck the building. "It literally happened just the next door down from my townhouse building. I heard a loud crash and it didn't sound like anything normal. I walked outside and that's when I saw the plane fuselage on the ground."

(Brandon Bryson)

Officials said no one was inside the apartment building when the plane came crashing down and no one on the ground was hurt. 

A resident said he heard a plane struggling to gain altitude before it crashed.

Ricky Nixon lives near the crash site. "My aunt was basically screaming at my uncle she smelled gas. I went outside. There is just plane pieces everywhere."

DeKalb County Medical Examiner released the identities of the two victims Thursday afternoon. Leslie Csanyi Jr., a 59-year-old male, and Scott Robert Lowrie, a 60-year-old male died in the crash. Csanyi Jr. and Lowrie were from North Carolina. 

DeKalb County Fire Capt. Dion Bentley says one person was found shortly after the crash but rescuers said they weren't immediately able to reach the second person who was on the plane. The body of the second victim was recovered around 4 p.m.

Building inspectors have declared six units in the townhome complex unsafe until further notice due to the crash.

The Red Cross is providing assistance to families who were impacted by the crash. 

An NTSB Air Safety Investigators said the plane took off with two people on board, made a left turn after takeoff, and then lost contact. 

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Thursday, investigators will be giving close scrutiny to the pilot, the environment, and the aircraft itself.

Federal investigators said a preliminary reporter will be available in about two weeks, but the completed report could take 12 to 24 months.

The plane is registered to the Mid-Carolina Regional Airport just outside of Charlotte. Officials said it was headed back at the time it crashed.