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Wigwe: Israeli investor, wife die in plane crash in California

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A highly successful Israeli couple have died after their plane crashed in northern California on Saturday night.

Liron and Naomi Petrushka were trying to land at Truckee Tahoe airport at 6:38 pm when their plane went down near the Nevada State border line.

The plane left Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday around 4:20 p.m., before making its way west. The cause of the crash is still unknown.

It would be recalled that Nigerian billionaire and Group CEO of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe died in a helicopter crash in California, near the California-Nevada border in February, 2024.

Herbert died with his wife and son in the crash.

The latest crash has some things in common with the crash that claimed the lives of the Wigwes and their son.

Both flights were at night, occurred near the California-Nevada borderline and were plagued by adverse weather conditions.

Shedding more light on the latest crash, Truckee Tahoe airport officials said that the plane was a ‘single engine TBM aircraft N960LP.’

Although the cause of the crash is still unknown, the conditions were snowy and there was a visibility range of half a mile

They noted that although there were two known fatalities, it wasn’t yet clear ‘how many people were onboard.’

Conditions were moderately snowy at the time of the crash, and there was a visibility of a half-mile, according to KCRA-TV.

The Petrushkas, who leave behind four children, had been living in California for the last few years. They had established themselves as astute tech investors and had a strings of successes behind them.

In 1999, the couple sold their company CommerceBid, which they had founded, for over $200 million. After the acquisition, the Petrushkas remained on board and helped the company that purchased CommerceBid.

After CommerceBid, they invested in Check, a company that was subsequently sold to American financial powerhouse Intuit in 2014 for around $360 million.

According to Ctech, the Petrushkas also invested in V.C. firm UpWest, an organization that invests in Israeli-helmed startups located in both Israel and the United States.

The plane carrying the Petrushkas crashed in Truckee, which is near the Nevada state line.

According to the Truckee Tahoe Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash.

The Truckee Tahoe Airport said that following the plane crash, “Truckee Police, Truckee Fire, Nevada County Sheriff, Nevada County Coroner and Truckee Tahoe Airport staff were on scene”.

They also mentioned that the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the situation.

Before launching his impressive career as a tech investor, Liron Petrushka got his start playing soccer for the Israeli team Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim.

In a statement to the Times of Israel, the soccer club’s chairperson said, “The club bows its head for the death of Liron Petrushka and his wife.”

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