Officials ID 3 people killed in crash of plane headed to Bay Area

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Authorities on Monday identified the three people who were killed this weekend when the small plane they were in crashed in the parking lot of Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office said the victims were: Robert Drescher, 57, of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., Edward Mumbert, 46, of Santa Cruz, and Ronni Hernandez, 34, hometown unknown. Investigators said autopsies showed that each victim died of blunt force trauma.

Mumbert, known to his friend as Big Ed, was a private investigator and bail bondsman who worked out of San Jose, He had apparently traveled to Nevada to escort Hernandez, a client, who had skipped out of town. Drescher was the pilot who had recently moved from Southern California to Northern California with his partner, Pam. 

In a post on social media, Pam said that Drescher was "the love of my life and was so happy and serene when he was flying."

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine plane crashed on takeoff around 6:15 p.m. PDT Sunday.

Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin told the Reno Gazette that the three were aboard the aircraft. No one on the ground was hurt. Several cars in the parking lot suffered damage from crash debris and the lot was closed to allow clean-up.

Kulpin says it's still unclear what caused the Piper Cherokee to crash. Witnesses said the plane encountered trouble shortly after takeoff at the airport. Officials said airport operations were not affected by the crash and operations continued as expected after the incident.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA have launched a probe into the crash. 

According to records, the airplane is registered to a limited liability corporation based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty contributed to this report.