Friends remember Truckee plane crash victims as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs

Federal investigators are working to determine the cause of a deadly plane crash in Truckee on Saturday night where the wreckage was scattered along the railroad tracks.

"It’s so sad. Life is so fragile," said Iddo Tal, a friend of the couple.

Several friends and colleagues identified the Israeli husband and wife killed in the crash as 57-year-old Liron and 58-year-old Naomi Petrushka.

"Hard to believe," said another friend, Matan Talmi.

Loved ones remember the couple as passionate tech entrepreneurs and investors who were the driving force behind Palo Alto’s UpWest, an investment firm specializing in fast-tracking Israeli tech company founders breaking into the U.S. market.

"Everyone who was fortunate to cross paths with them got to see how smart, kind, generous they were," Talmi said.

Tal, a Palo Alto man who is now following in Liron Petrushka's footsteps with his own Silicon Valley venture, has memories of a 2013 flight over the Bay Area with Petrushka piloting his own plane.

"He just loved that," Tal said. "He came to life when it was about start-ups and when it was about flying the airplane."

According to Naomi Petrushka’s LinkedIn profile, she taught at the University of Nevada, where she developed entrepreneurial skills in young adults.

Despite being extremely successful in Silicon Valley for a couple of decades, friends said Liron Petrushka was known as being humble and down to earth.

"Very approachable, very nice," said Ran Petel, who was also close with the couple and visited the crash site on Sunday.

"The only thing we could do was go and look and say good words about them," Petel said.

Friends said the husband and wife were certified pilots and believe Liron Petrushka was most likely flying the plane when it went down.

Friends also believe the couple were likely headed to their home in Incline, Nevada at the time of the plane crash.

They leave behind three adult sons.

Forecasters said there was moderate snow falling in Truckee at the time of the crash around 6:40 p.m. Saturday, reducing visibility.

It could take the National Transportation Safety Board up to two years to complete their investigation into the cause of the plane crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating and said only two people were on board the single-engine plane.