An Indian American doctor couple from New Jersey were killed when
their single-engine plane crashed into an Ohio cornfield and burst
into flames shortly after takeoff Sunday.
Viswanathan Rajaraman, the 54-year-old pilot, and Mary J. Sundaram,
his 50-year-old wife and the only passenger, were attempting to
take off from Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus when
the incident happened just before 9 a.m., n.j.com reported citing
Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Rajaraman, a leading New Jersey neurosurgeon, and his wife were
returning to Essex County Airport in Fairfield, which they flew
out of on Friday afternoon, according to the aviation website
Flight Aware. It was not clear why they were in Ohio for the
The cause of Sunday's plane crash is still under investigation.
The Federal Aviation Administration sent investigators to the
scene, but the National Transportation Safety Board will be
heading up the probe, nj.com said citing said Tony Molinaro, an
Rajaraman, one of the top doctors in New Jersey, specialising in
brain and spine cancer, was co-chief of neuro-oncology at
Hackensack University Medical Centre's cancer centre. Sundaram was
reportedly also a physician, but stopped practicing to raise the
couple's daughter, Kaavya Viswanathan, now 24.
Originally from Chennai, the family moved around the world. They
spent some time in the United Kingdom before moving to the United
States in the mid-1990s.
Kaavya Viswanathan made news in 2006 as a Harvard undergraduate
when she published the novel "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild,
and Got a Life," a story she wrote in high school. The book made
the New York Times bestsellers list.
But she was accused of plagiarism shortly after publication and
copies of her book were pulled from stores and destroyed by her