SANTEE (NEWS 8) - Two people and a dog were killed Tuesday when a light plane crashed into an industrial area adjacent to Gillespie Field shortly after taking off from the El Cajon airport.
The single-engine, four-seat Cessna 182 Skylane went down into a storage lot at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue in Santee shortly before 7 a.m., San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.
The pilot and a passenger died in the wreckage of the plane.
The pilot was identified as Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherill was his passenger. They owned homes in Orange County and in Montana. Dr. Longhurst worked at UC Irvine Health.
The couple would often visit San Diego to see their son Christopher - a doctor employed at UC San Diego Health.
No one on the ground was hurt.
A pair of dogs that had been riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to an El Cajon veterinary hospital, where one of them succumbed to its injuries, said Dan DeSousa, director of the county Department of Animal Services. The family has claimed the surviving dog and it is in their possession, according to the VCA hospital.
The Cessna was headed west when it apparently lost power, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane wheeled around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.
Witness Zachary Hill said that he and his sister watched as the aircraft went down and rushed to help, but found that the front of the Cessna had been utterly "destroyed."
Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up" from what he saw, Smith said.
Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.
Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Crews begin clearing plane crash wreckage in Santee:
RT @CBS8: #BREAKING: A plane crash in Santee kills two people. It went down near Prospect and Cuyamaca. https://t.co/lQQKo3DfGt pic.twitter.com/vImZy8qNOT— Heartland Fire (@heartlandfire) February 6, 2018
Heartland units are assisting Santee with this response.
Chula Vista Police on Wednesday cracked down on distracted drivers and pedestrians after a sharp increase in pedestrian fatalities in the South Bay city in recent months.
Creating an inventory of soon-to-expire affordable housing projects and ordinances to protect residents were among the suggestions generated at workshops Wednesday hosted by the City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he reached an agreement with the federal government that California's National Guard troops will deploy to the border to focus on fighting transnational gangs as well as drug and gun smugglers.
A woman was arrested Wednesday evening after a brief car chase that turned into a standoff in Valencia Park.
Caught in the chaos of the flooding and mudslides on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, an Encinitas family shared their story with News 8 about how a famous surfer, Laird Hamilton, came to their rescue.
A former Coronado dentist who used a fake name to lure patients to Mexico, where he performed dental implant surgery on them, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony and misdemeanor counts, including unlicensed dentistry with risk of bodily harm and practicing dentistry under a false name.
Earth Day is just around the corner and Caltrans wants San Diegans to be mindful of trash on our freeways.
A gun store owner in El Cajon, who is also a local school board president, has posted a video that some students and parents disagree with.
Imagine turning a $10,000 investment into $15 million dollars in sales. In Wednesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Kearny Mesa with a story of inspiration.
The San Ysidro School District got its ninth superintendent in five years when the school board voted unanimously Thursday, April 12 to hire a Lemon Grove educator to head the district.