On Monday, a plane crash in Riverside, California was caught on video. Two homes were hit, and three people are dead following the fiery crash. All three of the deceased were occupants of the small plane.
Fox 40 reports that a small Cessna plane was flying back from Disneyland on late Monday afternoon when it crashed into two homes in Southern California. According to the report, the plane was carrying a husband, wife, and three teenagers. All three occupants were apparently returning home to San Jose after a weekend cheerleading conference.
Shortly after the Cessna 301 took off from Riverside Municipal Airport on Monday, it crashed into a residential California neighborhood, destroying two homes and damaging some homes nearby. CBS News originally reported that four people died in the plane crash, but later corrected that statement on Tuesday, adding that authorities had earlier said that four were dead.
Riverside, California, police and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the small plane came down about a half-mile northeast of the Riverside airport, colliding with two homes, as shown in several videos. One surveillance video uploaded to both LiveLeak and YouTube actually shows the plane losing altitude before crashing into the two homes. The 18-second video clip ends in smoke and a huge fireball.
Phone calls starting coming in around 4:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon from witnesses who told police that a plane had crashed “near a residential area at Central and Streeter avenues” in Riverside, California. One witness reportedly said that the plane crash had felt like an earthquake from nearly a mile away. NBC Los Angeles quotes one witness as saying, “it was like a loud boom.”
“I thought it was a possible earthquake, and we heard all the birds just suddenly react outside, too. Every time an engine sputters, I’m afraid… This was just like a nightmare coming true.”
According to Riverside City Fire Chief Michael Moore, the plane “pretty much split apart” upon impact, killing three of the plane’s passengers and ejecting one passenger from a back seat. As of late Monday night, the three deceased victims had yet to be identified, but one female passenger on the plane, who only received minor injuries, was reportedly able to talk to firefighters and give them a recount of the plane crash.
Quoting CBS News, “One of the teenagers was thrown from a back seat of the plane on impact but had only minor injuries. Three witnesses told TV stations she crawled from the home asking for help.”
Another female — allegedly the pilot, roughly in her 30s or 40s — also reportedly survived the twin-engine plane crash after one neighbor, identified as Ernesto Torres, pulled her from the plane’s wreckage. Said Torres, “It was a girl, it was a lady. She was speaking. She said there was three others on the plane… we looked inside and couldn’t see anything, the plane was just gone.”
Riverside City Fire Chief Michael Moore also said that all of the residents of the destroyed homes were accounted for. Residents of one of the two destroyed homes were not actually home at the time of the plane crash, but NBC Los Angeles interviewed the homeowner of the other destroyed home, David Swinfard, who said he was doing a crossword puzzle in his living room when the plane hit.
Said Swinfard, “I thought, I’m going to have to get out of here or I’m going to die,” after the Riverside, California, resident felt his home shake and saw flames fly out everywhere. Swinfard managed to escape out his front door with only a minor burn.
Other nearby Riverside residents said they also felt their homes shake, after a loud explosion that sounded like a bomb, describing the heat as “like when you open the oven.”
The five-member family from the California Bay Area was allegedly flying home from the Jr. USA Nationals that was held at Disney California Adventure Park over the past weekend. No known cause of the plane crash has been reported, but CNN reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will continue its investigation Tuesday morning.
According to Q13 Fox, one witness to the Riverside, California, plane crash, elementary school teacher Shannon Flores, said that it was raining on Monday, and when the Cessna flew over her classroom shortly before 5 p.m., she “knew it wasn’t a good thing.”
Another witness, Brian Marsh, who was driving on Central Avenue towards Streeter Avenue, said that the “plane made a northbound turn before the crash,” adding that as soon as the plane turned, it nearly stalled completely.
“It just turned and went straight toward the ground. It looked like they tried to pull out of it, but it was too late.”
CBS Los Angeles reported that 40 homes were evacuated in the Riverside, California, neighborhood, located about 54 miles southeast of Los Angeles after the plane clipped power lines before crashing on Monday. The report goes on to say that a secondary search for crash victims will resume on Tuesday, with firefighters giving an update during a news conference at 11 a.m.
[Featured Image by Qwerty510/Wikimedia Commons]