Child hurt in plane crash declared brain dead - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Child hurt in plane crash declared brain dead; NTSB investigating possible open door

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Federal investigators will try to determine whether an open door on a plane caused it to crash on a San Diego golf course, killing a mother and son and critically injuring three other family members.

The homemade plane went down Monday afternoon after the pilot reported an open door shortly after takeoff. The door was later found a mile away.

Tom Little, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, says Thursday that the wreckage will be examined later this month. Little says among other things, investigators determine why the door was open and whether it hit the plane's rear engine.

The crash killed Lori Crane of Scottsdale, Ariz., her 8-year-old son later died at a hospital. Two other children and her husband were critically injured.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

This is a story update. For more, read the earlier story below.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8 / CNS) - One of three young siblings hospitalized in critical condition following a light-plane crash in Tierrasanta in which his mother was killed upon impact, has been declared brain dead.

An official with Rady Children's Hospital reported that eight-year-old Austin Crane was declared brain dead Wednesday. The boy remains in a coma.

His sisters and father, who also was critically injured in the crash, remain hospitalized, according to broadcast reports.

The Crane family's home-built, single-engine Velocity Super XLRG5 went down near the 11th hole of Admiral Baker Golf Course -- a military golf course just east of Interstate 15 -- shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, according to police and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Pilot Gregory Crane, the children's father, had flown to San Diego to pick up his wife, Lori, daughters 11-year-old Summer and 10-year-old Tia and Austin. Lori's father, Earl Orner, said that his daughter and grandchildren had been visiting family here from Arizona, where they lived.

Lori was in the front passenger seat of the aircraft, which overturned after impacting the ground.

Soon after taking off from Montgomery Field about 12:45 p.m., Gregory radioed its tower to report that a door on the plane had fallen off and he was heading back to the Kearny Mesa airport to make an emergency landing, the Federal Aviation Administration reported. Flight controllers then lost contact with him, and the crash was reported moments later.

The door that came off the aircraft was found in a ravine off Santo Road, which is about a half-mile west of the northwestern edge of the golf course.

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