ABC 6 Exclusive: Family of couple killed in plane crash speak - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

ABC 6 Exclusive: Family of couple killed in plane crash speak

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By: Liz Tufts

ltufts@abc6.com

   The family of a Block Island couple killed in a plane crash has been waiting two grueling weeks for some information into what happened and they finally get a glimpse of the final seconds their 83-year-old parents were in the air.

    Herman and Doris Hassinger's life is a true love story. They've known each other since the 4th grade. "They were high school sweethearts and really were never apart., " says their daughter Liz Hassinger.

     They had four children and 12 grand children. They spent most of their life on Block Island, the other half in the air. "It was part of their lifestyle to always be on the move, " says Hassinger. Herman Hassinger wasn't only a pilot, he was also a well known architect, designing more than 200 churches along the east coast. His latest project was building the sanctuary at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Kingston where he and his wife spent a lot of their time.  "He was so devoted and passionate about his art, " says Pastor Juliet Bongfledt.

     But he was even more passionate about flying. "He's been flying for 45 years and I always thought someday I might get a terrible phone call and on October 25th, Liz's phone rang. Her parents plane went down on a busy highway in New Hampshire, killing them both. "I was home when I got the call it was really really shocking, " says Liz Hassinger. Shocking because her father spent more of his time in the air than on the ground, but on that particular day something went wrong.

     A report released Thursday from the National Transportation Safety Board says Herman Hassinger lost contact with air traffic control shortly after take off. Ten minutes later the plane crashed. "The report says something happened to my dad he was not alive when the plane hit the ground, perhaps he had a heart attack and my mother was trying to get the plane down., " says Liz Hassinger.

     A bond so strong up until the end, Liz says she finds comfort knowing her parents are still together. "They would have been lost without each other. They loved life and they died living life., " adds Liz Hassinger.

     The couple's funeral was supposed to be held last week, but Hurricane Sandy was so bad it got delayed.  It will bow be held this Saturday at the same church Herman designed.

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