WASHINGTON - A family that once lived in the D.C. region was killed in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica.
Two American families were onboard the charter plane that crashed in the woods near a popular tourist beach shortly after takeoff Sunday afternoon.
They include the Steinberg family, who lived in North Potomac, Maryland about 15 years ago.
According to Olga Villatoro, the family's housekeeper and nanny, Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their three sons – William, Zachary and Matthew – died in the crash.
Villatoro worked for the family since they moved from Maryland to Scarsdale, New York.
She said the Steinbergs left for their trip to Costa Rica on Dec. 23.
Costa Rican officials said the single-engine charter plane they were traveling on crashed in the mountainous region of Punta Islita shortly after takeoff. The plane was headed to the capital of San Jose.
The Steinbergs were involved with philanthropy and their local Jewish community.
“They called me grandma,” Villatoro said through a translator about the Steinberg’s children. “My boys would call me grandma. I was there everything. They were my everything.”
The charter plane was being operated by Nature Air, which calls itself Costa Rica's largest private airline.
The director of Costa Rica's civil aviation agency told reporters that the plane had passed a safety inspection about a month ago.
Another American family of four was on the plane along with two Costa Rican pilots and an American tour guide. That second family was from outside St. Petersburg, Florida.