Arlington veterinarian, husband perish in Napa Valley plane crash

Coroners in California confirmed late Monday the identities of an Arlington, Virginia, couple who died on the morning of July 16 while visiting family in Napa Valley when the single-engine plane piloted by the wife’s father crashed in a vineyard. 

Their one-year-old son was with his grandmother at the time and survived.

Officials said dental records were used to identify Shauna Waite, a veterinarian who worked at the Columbia Pike Animal Hospital in Annandale, her husband, James, and her father, Robert Nicholas. 

The crash occurred near the Angwin, Calif., airport and sparked a small fire, local law enforcement said.

The intense fire largely consumed the Beechcraft Bonanza 35 aircraft, county Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Wofford said, but caused little damage to the vineyard itself. 

Shauna, a veterinarian at Columbia Pike, was a respected and trusted colleague and a cherished friend,” read a Facebook notice from the veterinary facility. “She was also a loving wife and mother. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her friends, family and loved ones.”

According to her biography at the veterinary practice’s website, Ms. Waite, a native of Southern California, was a graduate of the University of California at Davis and graduated from St. George’s University Veterinary School in Grenada. 

She was also involved with Athletes in Action, an evangelical Christian group, and served in an after-school program mission to Thailand.

James Waite, formerly a marketing and sales executive at D.C.-area firms General Assembly and Leap, had completed his first year as head of partner marketing for Hearth, a financial technology firm working with home contractors. 

He was a graduate of the Colorado State University College of Business, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The couple were reportedly active in the D.C. Area Roadrunners group, as well as Grace Community Church, which meets at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington.

“The Waites were a dynamic couple, always on the go, full of life and joy. Their energy was infectious to be around, which is why they have so many friends,” the church posted on Facebook.

James and Shauna served on our set up team at Grace and were members of a number of community groups throughout the years,” the church said.

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