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Two Americans, One Canadian Feared Dead In Small Plane Crash In DR (UPDATE!)


MISSING: Charles and Candy Ritzen of Nashville and Benjamin Brown of Canada

SANTO DOMINGO — A small plane that had taken off from Haiti with three people on board has crashed off the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Civil Aviation Authority says those on board included a couple from Tennessee and a Canadian.

Nashville social media identified the missing Americans as Charles and Candy Ritzen, who have dedicated their lives to helping the people of Haiti.  Also missing is Canadian Benjamin Brown.

A statement from the aviation authority issued today said that the plane took off from Port-au-Prince on Monday and was headed to the Dominican coastal town of Puerto Plata.

The Dominican Air Force has located wreckage from the plane and is currently searching for survivors.

The single-engine Lake LA-250 apparently lost contact with the control tower shortly after 6 p.m. when it was about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Puerto Plata. The cause of the accident is unknown.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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