A Noblesville couple killed in a Venice, Fla., plane crash on April 5 are being recalled as individuals known for their love of family and contributions in the community.
Ricky Beaver and his wife, Elizabeth Beaver, were killed, along with Fishers residents William Lumpkin and Patricia Lumpkin, after authorities say an airplane identified as a single-engine Piper PA-32R left an airport in St. Petersburg, Fla., Wednesday evening and flew to the Venice Airport. The Venice Police Dept. said in a statement that the occupants met with friends at a restaurant and left the Venice Airport around 9:35 p.m. and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico soon after takeoff.
The bodies of Ricky Beaver, 60, and the pilot, William Lumpkin, 64, were recovered Wednesday evening a half-mile west of the Venice Fishing Pier, while divers discovered the bodies of Elizabeth Beaver, 57, and Ann Lumpkin, 68, on April 6, authorities said.
Those who knew the Beavers described them as very well respected and cared about their family. Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt, who has known the couple for about 30 years, said when he learned of the news, “It kind of brought chills to me.”
“It’s going to affect our community a great deal,” Heirbrandt said.
Ricky Beaver was the owner of Beaver Construction, while Elizabeth owned Indiana Elite All Star Cheer & Tumbling in Noblesville. The couple particularly enjoyed spending time with their family, including their grandchildren, Heirbrandt said.
“It was a shock to a lot of people,” Heirbrandt said. “They’re very, very well-respected people and very giving to the community. It was a gut-punch to a lot of people.”
Venice Police Capt. Andy Leisenring said the National Transportation Safety Board is recovering the debris, and is leading the investigation into the crash.