Details emerging about plane crash that killed Niagara on the Lake family

We are learning more about the events surrounding the deaths of a Niagara on the Lake couple and their daughter killed in a plane crash Monday in Maine.

58 year olds Joseph and Anita Robertson along with their 24 year old daughter Laura died when their twin engine propeller Aerostar went down near the Greenville Municipal Airport.

The flight started from Pembroke, near the family's Golden Lake cottage and was bound for PEI.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board says Joseph called in a loss of engine power to Boston air traffic control Monday morning.

Witnesses report seeing the plane pass by the municipal airport and then plunge to the ground as Robertson attempted an emergency landing.

The couple were well known philanthropists in Niagara who made a major donation that helped get the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre off the ground.

Their daughter Laura  who had recently been hired to work at the recreation and athletics department at Brock University, was also a volunteer firefighter in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Her father was also the former chair of Brock University's Board of Trustees.

In a statement , Brock President Gervan Fearon said the University was “absolutely shocked and saddened by this incredible tragedy.”

Fearon noting “Joe had maintained a continued involvement in the University and he will be greatly missed by the Brock community and the large number of individuals in Niagara who knew and worked with him.”

John Suk, who sat on the Board for nine years with Roberston, and in 2014 succeeded him as Chair, was shaken by the news.

Suk adding, "Joe took me under his wing and mentored me for my role as Chair after him. Joe had the courage of his convictions, and was a leader in his example, his accomplishments and his values. I cannot overstate what a loss this is for all of us. Anita similarly was a huge supporter of Brock and the community, and supported Joe at every Brock event I can think of.”

The City of St. Catharines also released a statement in regards to the deaths of the Robertson's family. 

Mayor Walter Sendzik said the Robertsons made an incredible impact on St. Catharines that will live on through the causes they’ve supported in the community.

“On behalf of the City of St. Catharines, I want to offer our deepest condolences to the entire family at this very tragic time,” said Mayor Sendzik. “This is a horrible tragedy for the family and a deep loss for our community. The community shares in your grief and sadness during this difficult time.

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