In a tragic incident, an Indian-American doctor couple were killed when their private plane crashed in the US state of Ohio, police officials said today. Umamaheswara Kalapatapu, 63, and his wife Sitha-Gita Kalapatapu, 61, from Logansport in Indiana, were killed in the crash, according to a media release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The plane: a Piper Archer PA-28, being piloted by Umamaheswara, is believed to have crashed sometime between 10:36 am and 12:30 pm local time on Saturday, July 8, the release said.
The report further says that the Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation with the assistance of the Civil Air Patrol located the crash scene in an abandoned retention pond near the village of Beverly in south eastern Ohio.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Garic Warner said in an interview on Monday, July 10, that the crash occurred about 3 miles north-west of Beverly.
Searchers found the wreckage on Saturday afternoon.
The reason for the crash is not known yet. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they are still investigating.
The Bowen Center replied to tweet to offer condolences to the Kalapatapu family – “It is with great sadness we have been informed about the loss of Dr Kalapatapu and his wife. We offer our condolences to friends & family”.
The Kalapatapus were doctors (psychiatrists) and owned Raj Clinics, with offices in Logansport, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Lafayette and Kokomo.
Heather Geisler, an employee from Logansport said she’s done data entry, scanning and “a little bit of everything” for the Logansport clinic for the past eight years. “They were generous to a fault, extremely hardworking and dedicated to their patients,” Ms Geisler said of the Kalapatapus.
Umamaheswara Kalapatapu was also a talented photographer while Sitha-Gita Kalapatapu was a gifted musician and a “fantastic cook,” Ms Geisler said.
Mr Kalapatapu received multiple state, national and international awards and recognition for his photography and had been a certified professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America since 2005, according to Pharos-Tribune archives.
“They were just two people that were so full of life. It is hard to imagine that they’re not there anymore. They were wonderful people, absolutely wonderful. Two of the kindest people I’ve ever known and I’m going to miss them,” Ms Geisler said.
Raj Clinics’ Logansport location opened in 1995, she added.