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Friends remember Knoxville man killed in plane crash

Vasile Ghelan, 35, died in a plane crash in Cumberland County.
Published: May. 25, 2021 at 9:40 AM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Friends of Vasile Ghelan gathered in a Rocky Hill field to honor the life of their dear friend.

Ghelan died Tuesday in a crash near the Rockwood Airport.

”His absence will be felt just as much as his presence always was,” said friend Ahleasha McNeal.

A part of a volleyball group, Ghelan was a light and friend for all.

”The phrase full of life is what you’ll hear over and over he was always going from one adventure to the next, whether he was going down to the beach or to colorado snowboarding, or going camping with his family, or coming here and playing volleyball... he was always doing something,” said McNeal.

Vasile Ghelan, 35, died in a plane crash in Cumberland County.
Vasile Ghelan, 35, died in a plane crash in Cumberland County.(Vasile Ghelan, 35, died in a plane crash in Cumberland County.)

Ghelan was a friend to all and an avid adventurer.

His friends who knew him best say he will be missed more than they can express.

”Everything he’s done has left such a lasting impression on me and we’re all just taking it, pretty hard,” said David Middlebrooks. ”It’s going to be hard coming tomorrow to Thursday league and him not being there.”

First responders initially reported a possible plane crash Tuesday morning around 8:55 a.m. Officials moved the search to Cumberland County Tuesday afternoon.

Throughout the morning crews searched the area North of the Rockwood Municipal Airport near Camp Austin. Authorities also searched the Clarkrange area in Cumberland County.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has sent a helicopter to assist with the search. Multiple agencies joined the search efforts to locate the crashed plane.

No known flight plan was filed and the reason for the crash is unknown, officials said.

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