By John Clarke
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Maryland mother of three killed when a small jet crashed into her house in a Washington suburb on Monday, died huddled in a bathroom trying to shield her two youngest children from the smoke and fire caused by the crash, officials said on Tuesday.
A police spokeswoman in Montgomery County identified the victims in the house as Marie Gemmell, 36, and her two young sons, 3-year-old Cole and Devin, just six weeks old.
Gemmell and her two sons are survived by the woman's husband and a 5-year-old daughter who was at school at the time of the crash, Montgomery County officials confirmed. They did not name the two survivors.
Just hours before the crash, Gemmell had posted on her Facebook page that she just wanted to "stay home" on Monday and watch TV with her children.The other three people who died in the crash were the plane's occupants, pilot Michael Rosenberg, 66, and passengers David Hartman, 52, and Chijioke Ogbuka, 31, all of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Investigators continued to comb through the wreckage site on Tuesday where the Embraer SA twin-engine Phenom 100 crashed into Gemmell's home about one mile (1.6 km) from the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg. The executive jet had dipped below 500 feet (152 meters) and had dramatically slowed down 20 seconds before the crash, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Robert Sumwalt told a news conference on Tuesday in Washington."There was a low speed warning and a stall warning," Sumwalt said, noting the plane had slowed to 88 knots before the crash. "So we know that."The plane had departed from an airport on the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill campus at 9:30 a.m., according to the NTSB.
There was no evidence of a bird strike, he added.
The debris and fire also damaged two nearby homes. The damage to the homes is estimated to be $4 million, Montgomery County spokesman Pete Piringer said on Twitter.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler)