Tampa Bay family among 12 people killed in Costa Rica plane crash

Tampa Bay family among 12 people killed in Costa Rica plane crash

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A Belleair family is among a dozen people killed when a plane crashed Sunday in Costa Rica.

Leslie Levin Weiss, 50, and 52-year-old Mitchell Weiss were on the single-propeller Cessna 208 aircraft, according to the passenger list published by the Costa Rican government. Public records show they relocated to Belleair, Florida, in 2005 from the Philadelphia area.

Both were licensed physicians at Baycare; Mitchell Weiss is a radiologist in Clearwater while Leslie Weiss specialized in pediatrics.

Hannah Mae Weiss, 19, and Ari Moses Weiss, 16, also are listed among the dead -- they are the couple's children, according to friends close to the family.

Neighbor Spencer Hornsby told 10News the Weiss' were "a great family" and always were friendly to him and others. Leslie Weiss helped deliver Hornsby's son, Jackson, when he was born seven years ago.

"I had just talked to Mrs. Weiss right before they went away on the trip about going to Costa Rica and her having to bring so many different pairs of shoes, jokingly, about going hiking and bike riding and white water rafting and I was kind of jealous," Hornsby said.

Video released by the government of Costa Rica shows the wreckage after the plane crashed. Note: it might be disturbing to watch.

 

The plane was carrying 10 U.S. citizens and two local crewmembers when it crashed, killing everyone aboard.

At a news conference, Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica Civil Aviation, told the Associated Press that the Nature Air charter flight took off just after noon Sunday from Punta Islita and left for the capital of San Jose.

Cubillo said the cause was under investigation.

“It’s absolutely shocking. Absolutely shocking," Hornsby said. "It’s definitely going to be lonelier now not seeing the family come down the street walking the dog on a daily basis because when you catch up on things and what’s happening in their life and what’s happening with the family."

Photos: Wreckage of the Costa Rican plane crash that killed 12 people

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