John Rumpel, a prominent donor to President Donald Trump and the Republicans, has announced that his “entire family” was killed in a plane crash.
Rumple told reporters that he lost several family members when a private jet crashed on Sunday after flying through restricted airspace above Washington D.C.
His “entire family” was on board the Cessna Citation that crashed near Montebello, Virginia, around 3:30 pm Sunday, Rumpel told The Washington Post.
The U.S. Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept the plane but it lost control because the pilot had reportedly “lost consciousness” at the controls.
Multiple outlets, including The New York Times, reported that Rumpel’s daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter, and a nanny went down with the plane, as well as a pilot.
The Daily Mail identified the daughter as 49-year-old Adina Azarian.
The outlet reported that the Rumpels had also lost another daughter in a scuba diving accident when she was only 19.
According to federal records cited by The Daily Beast, the jet was owned by Encore Motors of Melbourne, Florida, which Rumpel and his wife own.
It was intercepted by two F-16 jets after it flew into the restricted airspace over Washington, D.C.
A total of six jets were scrambled in response to the incursion, but only two “inspected” the private jet, officials of the North American Aerospace Defense Command told the Post.
The scrambling fighters caused a sonic boom that rocked D.C.
The loud sound “startled residents across the District, Maryland, and Virginia around 3:10 pm,” according to the Post.
The jets deployed flares in an attempt to get the attention of the unresponsive Cessna’s pilot, who appeared to have “lost consciousness.”
The private jet appeared to be flying on autopilot, the Daily Mail reported.
Federal officials confirmed that the Cessna was not shot down, however.
“We know nothing about the crash,” Rumpel told the Post.
“We are talking to the FAA now …
“I’ve got to keep the line clear.”
Rumpel is a pilot himself, according to the Times.
He told the Times, in a breaking voice, that if the plane had lost cabin pressure, “they all just would have gone to sleep and never woke up.”
“I don’t think they’ve found the wreckage yet,” Rumpel told the Times.
“It descended at 20,000 feet a minute, and nobody could survive a crash from that speed.”
“Data from flight tracking service Flightradar24 shows a plane matching the Citation’s description and flight path reaching Long Island before turning around,” the Post reported.
“The plane flew directly over Washington before the data ends near Staunton, Va.”
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told The Post that first responders found no evidence of survivors when they located the crash site that evening.
According to Open Secrets, Rumpel has a history of donations to Republican candidates and causes, including President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Mitt Romney, and numerous state Republican parties.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be leading the continuing investigation into the crash.