Israeli couple die after private plane crash in California

The pair are believed to have flown their single-engine plane into a snow storm near Lake Tahoe


Naomi and Liron Petrushka

An Israeli couple have been killed after the light aircraft they were flying in crashed near Lake Tahoe.

After flying into a snowstorm, Liron and Naomi Petrushka’s plane came down near the Truckee Tahoe Airport close to the California-Nevada border.

On Saturday, the Israeli couple, who lived in Nevada, flew their Socata TBM9 single-engine turboprop light aircraft from Denver in what Craig Bower, who lived near the crash site, called “no visibility at all.”

Bower said he was “definitely surprised the plane [was] out in that visibility. We thought for sure it was flying using an instrument.”

No homes were damaged in the crash but railroad lines will need repairs according to local media.

Liron had previously played professional soccer for Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim F.C. and then worked as a technology entrepreneur at UpWest. The Silicon Valley seed fund released a statement saying the couple’s home “was always open as were their big hearts. We are all heartbroken by this loss.”

The company called Liron an “iconic angel investor” and “a mentor, friend and pillar of wisdom who loved life, sports, and a good laugh.” Liron and Naomi worked together on their technology enterprises, selling their company CommerceBid in 1999 for $242 million.

Israel technology investor Ron Petel said the couple’s financial success did not transform their kind nature. “They were so approachable. Some people—they say money changes them. They stayed humble.

“Anytime I needed advice on a company, we would meet for coffee. If I had issues with my kids that I needed help with, he would advise,” Petel said.

Technology entrepreneur Iddo Tal said Liron was “like a father figure for many, an experienced entrepreneur for many.”

At the time of her death, Naomi worked as an adjunct professor for the University of Nevada, Reno, and ran the Petrushka Investments firm.

The Jewish News of Northern California called the Petrushkas “well-known to Silicon Valley’s Israeli community.” The couple had moved to Nevada four years ago.

Ady Wunderman, a close friend of the family, said she was “still in shock” and it’s a nightmare.” She called Liron “my best friend, my rock.”

The Petrushkas leave behind three sons, David, Scott and Jordan.

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