Israeli couple killed in Truckee plane crash ID’d as Liron and Naomi Petrushka by Palo Alto firm UpWest Labs

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TRUCKEE, Calif. — We’re learning about the two people killed when a small plane crashed while trying to land at the Truckee airport Saturday.

Liron and Naomi Petrushka are from Israel and had been living in California in recent years, according to Israeli media.

The couple were tech entrepreneurs and investors.

They invested in the venture capital firm UpWest, based in Palo Alto.

They are survived by four children.

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The Daher TBM 900 took off from Denver, Colorado, on Saturday afternoon, according to aircraft tracker FlightAware.

The aircraft crashed at about 6:38 p.m. “near the area of Glenshire Drive and Olympic Blvd.,” a crossroads northwest of the Truckee Tahoe Airport, police said in a statement.

“At this time there is no threat to any structures and no road closures,” police said. “There will be a heavy presence of emergency responders in the area for an extended period of time.”

UpWest founder Gil Ben-Artzy told ABC7 News the victims never sought the limelight, but they had a huge impact on the businesses they backed.

“They were quiet leaders,” he said. “They weren’t up front and center you won’t read about them in business or investment publications. But if you talk to every single founder they invested in, they would always say that they were their first call.”

Ben-Artzy says the pair wanted to give back to the Israeli tech world through investments and philanthropy.

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He says they were mentors to many, generous with their time and their big hearts.

“They were truly inseparable as a couple and they’re leaving behind an amazing legacy and truly we are all devastated by this,” Ben-Artzy said.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at the crash site Sunday morning to begin documentation, according to a statement from the NTSB.

“The wreckage will then be recovered to a secure facility for further evaluation,” the NTSB said. A preliminary report is expected within 30 days of the accident, according to the NTSB.

Its investigation will involve three primary areas — the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment, the agency said.

The NTSB has requested witnesses of the accident or those who have surveillance video or other information that could be relevant to the investigation to contact the agency at witness@ntsb.gov.

ABC7 News contributed to this report.

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