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Local couple dies in small plane crash in Michigan

Allison Wheaton via Facebook

A local Northeast Indiana couple involved in business and charities died over the weekend in a single-engine plane crash in western Michigan.

Police responded to reports of a small plane having crashed after takeoff near Ludington around 10 a.m. Sunday. They found the plane engulfed in flames, and 60-year-old Randy Strebig and his wife 43-year-old Allison Wheaton were pronounced dead at the scene. The couple’s two dogs also died.

The plane was bound for the Albuquerque International Sunport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Strebig founded Strebig Construction in Fort Wayne, a residential remodeling, roofing and concrete business. Wheaton was the executive director and founder of Summit Equestrian Center, an therapy organization that utilizes horses in its practices.

The couple were also on the board of directors for the International Seaplane Fly-in in Maine.

The Allen County Commissioners released a statement on the couple’s passing Tuesday. Commissioner Rich Beck called them “tremendous individuals” who were “community-minded, caring, heartfelt.”

The cause of the crash is unknown.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.