Community supports son of plane crash victims

A small community northwest of the Twin Cities is rallying around a 13-year-old boy who lost both his parents in a plane crash over the weekend. http://kare11.tv/2yt1fAi

PRINCETON, Minn. - A small community northwest of the Twin Cities is rallying around a 13-year-old boy who lost both his parents in a plane crash over the weekend.

Authorities say Jill and Chad Rygwall crashed their single-engine plane into power lines before hitting the Mississippi River in Ramsey, Minnesota. Neither of them survived.

Princeton Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Julia Espe, says Jill Rygwall was a very special paraprofessional who was loved and adored by parents and students in their special education department.

"When something like this happens there's not a lot of preparation you can do to make it all better," Espe said. "This has been a really tough weekend for our little people who maybe haven't dealt with death before and don't understand the concept of it."

Espe said they are trying to provide support for everyone.

"We have clergy, pastors, counselors, everyone is pulling together," she said.

RELATED: Second body recovered from plane crash

The Rygwalls had only one child, a 13-year-old boy who attends school in the Princeton School District.

Even though he's dealing with the unthinkable, he showed up to school on Monday.

"He wanted to see his friends and his teachers," Espe said. "Former teachers have reached out and asked to get a substitute to go give him a hug."

The boy is now with his grandparents.

His grandfather, Jeff Rygwall -- Chad's father -- says Chad and his wife Jill did everything together. He said learning how to fly was on Chad's bucket list.

Rygwall also said Chad suffered a heart attack a few years ago.

There is a GoFundMe set up for the Rygwalls' son.

Anoka County Sheriff's Lieutenent Brent Erickson says their plane was recovered from the Mississippi River Sunday and is now at the Crystal Airport, where the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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