Two killed when plane crashes into house known to homeowners

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MARENGO, Wis. (AP) — Two people who died when their small plane crashed into a house in a tiny, northern Wisconsin town were a brother and sister known to the homeowners, who escaped injury.

The single-engine plane went down Saturday afternoon in the Ashland County community of Marengo, home to about 400 residents located about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Duluth, Minnesota. Sheriff’s officials identified the victims as 29-year-old Aaron Mika and his 21-year-old sister, Aleah Mika. They were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Martin Ollanketo says he and his wife were home when a loud boom shook their house.

“My wife and I were sitting in the living room. We had the TV on, probably attempting to doze off. I planned to take a pedal bike ride, and all of a sudden, we hear this boom,” Ollanketo said.

The plane destroyed their porch on impact, but spared the main living area.

“It was like a bomb going off,” Ollanketo said.

Ollanketo went outside and saw plane parts scattered across his lawn, KBJR-TV reported. Ollanketo said he tried to help the victims, but to no avail.

The homeowners knew the siblings killed, recounting their graduation parties that they attended.

“It’s bad, you know people know everybody, you know these kids, just not too long ago I was watching them, a bunch of girls climbing up the silo there. You just know them, and it’s tragic,” Ollanketo said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating along with assistance from the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office.