Candlelight Vigil Held in Honor of Plane Crash Victims - NBC Connecticut

Candlelight Vigil Held in Honor of Plane Crash Victims



    Hundreds come out to show love and support for two families brought together by tragedy. (Published Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013)

    Hundreds came out to Margaret Tucker Park in East Haven to show their support and love for two families brought together by tragedy.

    A community pulled together embracing Joann, the mother of two who lost both daughters when their home was hit by a plane Friday morning.

    Saturday night they remembered 13-year-old Sade Brantley and one-year-old Madisyn Mitchell. A close family friend described Sade as the light of the household.

    "She always had a zest for knowledge and life and was a sheer pleasure to know. And Madisyn was such a happy baby. With her short life she brought happiness to everyone," said Elanda Rubirosa, who has known the family for more than 30 years.

    The scene on Charter Oak Avenue has quieted down, but the two homes hit still reveal the horrifying moment when four lives were lost. The pilot, 54-year-old William Henningsgaard, and his 17-year-old son Maxwell of Medina, Washington were on an East Coast college tour.

    The Chief Medical Examiner's Office revealed the cause of death for all four to be blunt force trauma.

    Stuffed animals and candles are now placed in front of the home as neighbors stopped by to express their sorrow.

    But it's impacted more than just an East Haven community as those who never knew the family arrived from miles away to attend the vigil and pay their respects. They hope their presence can bring some small comfort to a mother left broken.

    "She's holding up the best that anyone in the situation could be. It's unimaginable," said Rubirosa.
    "We will be with you. We will support you in prayer and action as the days, weeks, and months go on," said Father Tom Sievel of St. Vincent De Paul Church.

    The governor released a statement saying in part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families tonight who are suffering from grief and loss."