Neighbor prays for ‘miracle’ after plane disappears near Cleveland

Davene Yankle, who grew up in Youngstown, has been the Fleming family's neighbor for 12 years

Davene Yankle has been the Fleming family's neighbor in Dublin, Ohio for 12 years.
Davene Yankle (Courtesy: WCMH)

DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – The neighbor of the Ohio family aboard a plane that went missing over Lake Erie Thursday night is hoping for a miracle.

Davene Yankle, who grew up in Youngstown, has been the Flemings’ neighbor for 12 years.

Family members said John T. Fleming was flying the small plane that disappeared. On board were his wife, Suzanne, their two sons, John and Andrew, and a neighbor and neighbor’s daughter.

“I just can’t imagine them being gone. It’s devastating. I know my neighbors are devastated,” Yankle said. “Great family, great neighbors, good people. Tight, tight clan. Loved them.”

The six passengers are still missing.

“Been neighbors for like, 12 years with them. Couldn’t have asked for better people,” Yankle said. “The boys stuck together. Great boys.”

Yankle is from the Mahoning Valley, just like the Flemings. John and Suzanne Fleming are Boardman High School graduates.

She said they’re very involved in the community.

“They were just wonderful, giving…go do anything for you. Let’s pray for them, hope a miracle happens.”

The City of Dublin sent NBC4 a statement:

Dublin City Council and the City of Dublin are continuing to monitor the U.S. Coast Guard’s search for the plane that disappeared over Lake Erie Thursday evening carrying Dublin residents — the Fleming family and their neighbors.

“We are deeply saddened by this news,” said Mayor Greg Peterson. “Dublin City Council, City of Dublin staff and the Dublin Irish Festival family are keeping all of those on board the flight in our thoughts and prayers.”

John Fleming is president and CEO of Superior Beverage Group, and served as the 2008 Dublin Irish Festival Honorary Chair. He and his family are some of the Festival’s biggest fans and supporters.

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