Airplane crash Bequia: 'Speed Racer' actor, 2 daughters killed in plane crash in Caribbean

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Friday, January 5, 2024
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LOS ANGELES -- A Hollywood actor and his two daughters were among four people killed Thursday when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from a Caribbean island, authorities said.

The deadly crash happened in the waters off Bequia, a small island that is part of the southern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Authorities said the single-engine aircraft took off from J.F. Mitchell Airport shortly after noon local time and was headed to nearby St. Lucia when tragedy struck.

"Moments after taking off, the aircraft experienced difficulties and plummeted into the ocean," the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force said in a statement.

Four people were onboard the aircraft, including the pilot. The passengers were identified by police as 51-year-old Christian Klepser and his two daughters, 12-year-old Madita and 10-year-old Annik Klepser.

Klepser was a Hollywood actor known professionally as Christian Oliver. He appeared in several movies throughout his career, including the 2008 film "Speed Racer" starring Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman. Klepser was also the CEO of a small production company in Hollywood.

The pilot was identified as Robert Sachs, who police said also owned the plane.

"Fishermen and divers from Paget Farm went to the scene of the incident in their boats to render assistance," the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force said in the statement.

The country's Coast Guard also responded, and after searching the area near where the aircraft went down, the bodies of all four victims were recovered, according to police.

Police noted that upcoming autopsies would determine the cause of death of each victim.

It was unclear what caused the plane to crash as the incident remains under investigation, police said.

ABC News contributed to this report.