THE fourth victim of a deadly plane crash that claimed the lives of a prominent Trump donor’s daughter and granddaughter over the weekend has been identified by The U.S. Sun as Evadnie Smith.
Smith, known lovingly as “Nanny V,” was killed alongside Adina Azarian, 49, and her two-year-old daughter Aria on Sunday when a twin-engine Cessna Citation owned by wealthy entrepreneur John Rumpel crashed in a rural part of southwest Virginia.
The aircraft was intercepted by two F-16 fighter jets after entering restricted airspace over Washington, D.C. on Sunday afternoon.
It appeared to be flying on autopilot and the pilot was incapacitated, aviation officials said. The jet later crashed into the ground in the Shenandoah Valley, killing all four people on board.
Smith was a live-in nanny at Adina’s home in East Hampton, New York.
Originally from Jamaica, friends of Adina remembered Nanny V as a “beautiful soul of a woman” who was incredibly close to Adina and her daughter.
“She was such an amazing woman,” Adina’s close friend Sandy Castillo told The U.S. Sun in an emotional interview.
“She went above and beyond for Aria and Adina and I recently asked Adina, ‘Now that Aria’s in [pre-]school, what will happen to Nanny V?’
“And she told me, ‘Nanny V will always be a part of our family. She will never leave us. She’s with us forever.'”
Castilo added that Nanny V had been working for Adina for the last couple of years.
“I don’t know much beyond that history, except for that she was a Christian, and the most amazing, beautiful soul of a woman.”
She was such an amazing woman […] a beautiful soul of a woman.
Another close friend of Adina’s, Raphael Avigdor, memorialized Smith as a “lovely woman.”
He said that he first met her two years ago when having lunch with Adina on Long Island.
“We must mention Nanny V,” he said. “She was a lovely woman who was taking such good care of Adina and her baby.
“She was smiling all the time and was just so full of love. She was a hard-working woman and a wonderful caretaker.
“I met her two years ago, and I told her how I was having a hard time finding a carer for my 97-year-old mother in Florida and Evadnie recommended her half-sister, who in turn became my mom’s caretaker.
“She’s very much a part of my family now because she’s there every day. Unfortunately, I had to break the bad news to her that her sister had passed.
‘A BEAUTIFUL SOUL’
A spokesperson for the Virginia State Police Department declined to confirm Smith’s identity on Monday evening pending further investigation.
Adina’s adoptive parents, John and Barbara Rumpel, were the first to confirm that Adina and Aria died in Sunday’s wreck.
The couple – who are gun rights advocates and prominent Donald Trump donors – lost another daughter, Victoria, in 1994 following a scuba diving-related tragedy.
Friends of Adina’s revealed to The U.S. Sun that the couple adopted her as an adult to fill the void left in their hearts following Victoria’s death.
Avigdor, a fellow real estate broker who knew Adina for 15 years, said the single mom met the Rumpels while working as an agent at one of the residential buildings they owned in Manhattan several years ago.
“And they became very close,” said Avigdor, “as most people who knew Adina would do because she was a beautiful soul.
“John and Barbara had lost a daughter previously […] they loved and missed their daughter and so they kind of transferred all that love to Adina and she became their daughter.
“They were very much a big part of her life. They are successful people and Adina would fly back and forth quite a bit to see them, especially after she had her daughter.
“I don’t know if the adoption was legalized or not but they were all very close.”
A devastated John Rumpel told The New York Times on Monday that Adina, her daughter, and the family’s nanny were returning home to East Hampton after a four-day visit to his estate in North Carolina when the Cessna crashed “almost straight down at a high speed.”
The velocity of the impact left behind a crater and the wreckage was spread over a distance of 150 yards, he added.
Moments earlier, two F-16s were scrambled from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland after the Cessna entered the restricted airspace, prompting the emergency response to intercept the flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called the pilot but received no response. The military then ordered the jets to intercept, green-lighting them to travel at supersonic speeds, causing a boom in the region.
There will just be an empty spot in my heart for a lovely woman who developed to be a very true and dear friend for me.
NORAD said that when the jet was intercepted at about 3.20pm, “the pilot was unresponsive and the Cessna subsequently crashed near the George Washington National Forest.”
John Rumpel said the plane tumbled out of the sky at a rate of 20,000 feet per minute.
A trained pilot himself, the 75-year-old theorized the plane may have lost pressurization while up in the air, causing the pilot and everyone else on board to lose consciousness.
“They all just would have gone to sleep and never woke up,” he told The Times while reportedly choking back tears.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY DEVASTATED
Avigdor told The U.S. Sun that he spoke directly with John Rumpel earlier on Monday and described him as devastated, but added: “he’s been through a lot of this type of tragedy in his life so he understands the process and was quite lucid about everything.”
Still trying to get his own mind around the tragedy, Avigdor said he will remember Adina as a “lovely person.”
“She was just such a lovely person and such a lovely daughter and so content with life. This is one of those difficult things to absorb.
“There will just be an empty spot in my heart for a lovely woman who developed to be a very true and dear friend to me.”
Sandy Castillo, meanwhile, tearfully remembered Adina as one of the most ambitious and selfless people she’s ever met.
“We are absolutely devastated,” said Castillo. “We will never forget her. She will be in our hearts forever and her sweet angel daughter, Aria, was a miracle and everything she ever wanted.
“[Before she had Aria] she was instrumental in the upbringing of my daughter.
“I was a single mom and Adina went out of her way to treat my daughter like her own. She was instrumental in her education and she was just the most generous person.
“She was always happy, never a victim, and always persevered through everything with a smile on her face.
“Just a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful human being.”
FAA PROBES CRASH
While the FAA continues to investigate the circumstances leading up to Sunday’s deadly crash, more details about the Rumpel family have come to light.
John is the owner of the Florida-based company Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc. and Barbara is a member of the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum.
The couple are also large-scale donors to several conservative political candidates, including former President Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
In 2020, the couple donated $250,000 to the Trump Victory PAC and gave thousands towards DeSantis’ successful Gubernatorial run.
Additionally, Barbara Rumpel has made donations to several other Republican candidates, including Herschel Walker.
The Rumpels have even committed their entire real estate portfolio to the pro-second amendment group.
“We want to leave a legacy that will help preserve this country as we know it and as it is meant to be,” Barbara wrote in a statement on an NRA’s website.
In an earlier family tragedy, they lost their 19-year-old daughter Victoria in 1994 during a scuba diving accident.
Following Victoria’s death, the Rumpels bought an 11-story building in Melbourne, Florida, which they named Victoria Landing.
The assisted living center is a tribute to their late daughter.
“John honors the memory of his daughter with the Victoria Landing name. With that honor comes the responsibility to make Victoria Landing the very best it can be…in commemoration of Victoria and in celebration of everything life can and should be,” according to its website.
The Rumpel family could not be reached for comment.