Advertisement

School Board President Dies After Small Plane Crashes Near Amish House in Pennsylvania

The Octorara Area School District said its school board president, Sam Ganow, was the sole person killed in Thursday's crash in Coatesville

<p>Sam Ganow/Facebook</p> Sam Ganow

Sam Ganow/Facebook

Sam Ganow

A 65-year-old school board president has died after the small plane he was piloting crashed near an Amish house in Pennsylvania.

Crews responded to the twin-engine plane crash in the 600 block of Old Wilmington Road just after 1:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, according to a post shared on the West Caln Township Police Department (WCTPD) Facebook page.

The plane went down near a building on the Amish property just two minutes after taking off from Chester County Airport, FOX affiliate WTXF-TV and ABC affiliate WPVI-TV reported.

The sole occupant onboard the plane was pronounced dead at the scene, the WCTPD said.

Related: 'Several' Dead After Small Plane Crashes Into Florida Mobile Home Park

The Octorara Area School District has identified the victim of the Coatesville crash as School Board President Sam Ganow.

Superintendent Dr. Steven Leever described Ganow as “a cherished and respected member of our community” as well as “a dedicated member” of the board he presided over.

“His commitment to education and his tireless efforts to enhance the educational experience for our students made a lasting impact on our school district,” Leever added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Ganow’s death “will be felt across a number of communities,” according to Leever. The OASD superintendent said Ganow was a member of the school board for 26 years and owned an equipment rental business for decades before his death.

Ganow was also “deeply committed to the international skiing circuit” for years and judged hundreds of events both nationally and across the globe, per Leever’s statement.

The Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association said Ganow was serving as a Senior Alpine Official and ACC chairman, and previously served as president.

The late school board president would also compete in “multiple marathon races” every year, like the Disney Marathon weekend he completed in January, according to Leever.

Related: 3 Dead, 9 Injured After Hangar Collapses Near Boise Airport

“During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Sam’s family,” Leever said about the “dedicated” husband, father, grandfather and community member.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, according to WTXF-TV and WPVI-TV.

A woman was sleeping inside the house that was nearly hit by the plane, per the reports.

“We got lucky. The plane was really close to the house,” West Caln Township Police Chief Curt Martinez said. “From the witnesses, the plane just missed the house.”

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.