Four people, including actor Christian Oliver and his two young daughters, were killed in a plane crash in the Caribbean Thursday.
A statement from the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force on Thursday said the incident occurred off the island of Bequia. The small single-engine aircraft was traveling from the J.F. Mitchell Airport in Paget Farm to St. Lucia.
“Moments after taking off, the aircraft experienced difficulties and plummeted into the ocean,” said the local authorities. “Fishermen and divers from Paget Farm went to the scene of the incident in their boats to render assistance. The SVG Coast Guard was informed and quickly traveled to Paget Farm, Bequia, to lead in the rescue efforts.”
The three passengers aboard the aircraft were identified as Christian Klepser, 51, and his two daughters, Madita, 10, and Annik, 12. The pilot was identified as Robert Sachs, who also owned the plane.
Authorities revealed that the bodies of the pilot and passengers were recovered from the aircraft and waters from the SVG Coast Guard. The victims were later pronounced dead.
According to multiple outlets, including NBC News, Deadline and local outlet the St. Vincent Times, Klepser was an actor who also went by the name of Christian Oliver. His credits included the films The Baby-Sitters Club, The Good German, Speed Racer and Valkyrie.
On Jan. 1, Oliver wrote on Instagram with a beach photo: “Greetings from somewhere in paradise! To community and love …2024 her we come!”
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In an Instagram post, actress Bai Ling shared a tribute to the late actor, where she shared how she had been told of the news of his death.
“Dear Christian Oliver @christianoliverofficial with tears in my eyes I cannot express the sorrow I felt when our direct Nick called me not long ago, that the plane he took had crashed, including his beautiful 2 daughters and the pilot had all passed! In the Caribbean‘s. He was having holidays,” she wrote, in part, in her caption on Friday, alongside a photograph of herself with the actor.
“I just could not believe it is the truth, the last we worked filming in #hollywood was December 20th 2023, just right before Christmas,” added Ling, 57.
The RSVGPF added in its statement that the bodies of the victims were taken to a mortuary where post-mortem examinations will determine the cause of death.
As reported by the St. Vincent Times, several residents said they heard a sputtering sound made by the plane upon takeoff. “It sounded like when a vehicle is struggling — you know, stalling, struggling for power to go up a hill,” local resident Danroy Joseph told the publication.
The RSVGPF also said in their Thursday statement that the investigation into the incident is ongoing, adding, “The RSVGPF expresses condolences to all who are negatively affected by this tragic incident.”