Ride in Peace: Lazarus and Maryann Sommers of GT Thunder

Publish Date: 
Apr 14, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.V. – The owners of an ATV repair and gear store were killed in a Friday night plane crash while on their way to watch their son compete in South Carolina.

Authorities believe pilot Lazarus Enoch Sommers, 50, and his wife, Maryann Sommers, 56, were trying to avoid bad weather when the plane went down in West Virginia around 5 p.m. April 11. Lazarus Sommers was the owner of GT Thunder Inc., in Millersburg, Ohio.

The Piper 32 airplane took off from Akron Fulton International Airport earlier Friday, bound for Spartanburg, S.C. Authorities told WJW Cleveland the couple was on their way to watch their son race in Big Buck GTNCC ATV competition this weekend.

Firefighters on the ground and crews in a helicopter found the crash site at 6:40 p.m. in Kanawha County. The rescue area was not accessible for vehicles or ATVs, so rescue crews had to walk to the wreckage.

Tim Cotter with Amsoil Grand National Cross Country Series Racing said the two have been sponsors of AGNCC racing for more than 30 years and flew to every race.

It could take up to a year before investigators know exactly what caused the crash.

Posted by Holly Wagner