A Towson couple was killed a plane crash near the Florida Keys on Sunday, Florida authorities confirmed this week.
The bodies of 61-year-old Paul Brezinski and 38-year-old Kseniya Grishina were recovered from about 10 feet of water Sunday morning after the couple’s 1961 Cessna 210 Centurian airplane crashed in Gulfside waters near Rachael Key, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
A passing mariner saw a body and notified the U.S. Coast Guard of the crash shortly after 9 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard and officials from the conservation commission responded.
The two were believed to be the only people on board the plane, which took off from Florida Keys Marathon International Airport and appeared to be destined for Savannah, Georgia, Monroe officials said Sunday.
The plane had been scheduled to take off from Marathon, Florida, at 6 a.m., according to flight logs, Monroe County officials said.
Grishina’s uncle Andrew Stonebarger said police came to the door to deliver news of the crash to his wife, Vera, who cared for the woman when she was growing up.
The Morning Sun
Stonebarger and his wife own and operate the Russian arts and crafts store Tradestone Gallery in Federal Hill, where Grishina was a frequent visitor, he said.
Brezinski, who was a pilot, and Grishina were seeing each other for about a year and would take occasional trips down to Florida in his plane. Brezinski was teaching Grishina to fly, Stonebarger said.
“She was a great gal,” he said. “She was fearless and had a big heart. ... She was a very active girl, always doing something. There was an amazing amount of activity in her life.”
Stonebarger shared on social media Monday that Grishina grew up in Pelekh, Russia, and spent her early adult years there painting lacquer boxes. She moved to the United States in her 20s and lived in Texas before moving to Maryland several years ago, the post states.
He described her as a" very caring, talented, adventurous and vibrant free spirit.”
“Kseniya deeply loved this country and held a variety of interests and jobs in her life,” the post states. “She fit more into her 38 years than most of us manage to do in 100 years. After a hiatus from painting, she took it up again in her last months and painted some truly beautiful watercolors. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation.