update deskJewish Diaspora

Israeli couple dies in Nevada plane crash

The tech entrepreneurs were raising three children.

Silicon Valley investor Liron Petrushka. Source: Social media.
Silicon Valley investor Liron Petrushka. Source: Social media.

After flying into a snowstorm, Liron and Naomi Petrushka died crashing near the Truckee Tahoe Airport close to the California-Nevada border.

On Saturday, the Israeli couple, who lived in Nevada, flew their Socata TBM9 single-engine turboprop light aircraft from Denver in what Craig Bower, who lived near the crash site, called “no visibility at all.”

Bower said he was “definitely surprised the plane [was] out in that visibility. We thought for sure it was flying using an instrument.”

The Petrushkas leave behind three sons, David, Scott and Jordan.

No homes were damaged in the crash but railroad lines will need repairs.

Liron had previously played professional soccer for Hapoel Ramat Gan Givatayim F.C. and then worked as a technology entrepreneur at UpWest. The Silicon Valley seed fund released a statement saying the couple’s home “was always open as were their big hearts. We are all heartbroken by this loss.” 

The company called Liron an “iconic angel investor” and “a mentor, friend and pillar of wisdom who loved life, sports, and a good laugh.” Liron and Naomi worked together on their technology enterprises, selling their company CommerceBid in 1999 for $242 million.

Israel technology investor Ron Petel said the couple’s financial success did not transform their kind nature. “They were so approachable. Some people—they say money changes them. They stayed humble.

“Anytime I needed advice on a company, we would meet for coffee. If I had issues with my kids that I needed help with, he would advise,” Petel said. 

Technology entrepreneur Iddo Tal said Liron was “like a father figure for many, an experienced entrepreneur for many.”

At the time of her death, Naomi worked as an adjunct professor for the University of Nevada, Reno, and ran the Petrushka Investments firm. 

The Jewish News of Northern California called the Petrushkas “well-known to Silicon Valley’s Israeli community.” The couple had moved to Nevada four years ago.

Ady Wunderman, a close friend of the family, said she was “still in shock” and it’s a nightmare.” She called Liron “my best friend, my rock.”

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