The couple whose daughter and granddaughter were killed when the jet they were traveling in crashed in the Virginia mountains Sunday lost another daughter in an accident nearly 30 years ago.
John Rumpel confirmed to The Washington Post that his daughter, Adina Azarian, 49, and his grandchild, Aria 2, along with the family’s nanny, Evadnie Smith, were onboard the Cessna Citation that crashed in Virginia on Sunday after taking off from Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Jeff Hefner was piloting the plane.
Azarian and her daughter had been returning home to East Hampton, New York, after a four-day trip to the Rumpel’s home in North Carolina, Rumpel told The New York Times.
Azarian was a real estate agent working in East Hampton and Manhattan. The plane Azarian and the others were traveling in was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne, Inc., a company owned by John and Barbara Rumpel.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane departed Elizabethton Municipal Airport heading for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport in New York.
The plane reached the New York area before making a U-turn and heading toward Virginia, according to the flight-tracking website Flight Aware. It continued past the airport it was scheduled to land at and flew over restricted airspace in Washington DC.
After the plane entered the restricted airspace and the pilot did not respond to air traffic controllers, F-16s were deployed and authorized to travel at supersonic speeds to catch up with the plane. The speed at which the F-16s flew caused the sonic boom heard across the area.
After flying over DC, the plane began to descend, until it crashed in the George Washington National Forest.
“My family is gone, my daughter and granddaughter,” Barbara Rumpel, wrote in a Facebook post soon after the crash.
It was the second time the Rumpels heard tragic news about one of their children.
The Rumpel’s other daughter, Victoria, died at age 19 in a diving accident in 1994, according to the Daily Mail.
The Rumpels celebrated Victoria’s life by buying a building in Melbourne, Florida, and turning it into an assisted-living facility names Victoria Landing, according to the company’s website.
“Victoria Landing gets its name from Victoria Rumpel. Victoria was John’s daughter who died tragically at the young age of nineteen in a scuba diving accident,” the website states.
“John honors the memory of his daughter with the Victoria Landing name,” The website reads. “With that honor comes the responsibility to make Victoria Landing the very best it can be…in commemoration of Victoria and in celebration of everything life can and should be. Life is simply too precious.”