SANTEE, CA - Two people and a dog are dead after a light plane registered out of Darby crashed into an industrial area near San Diego.
The pilot is identified as Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherill was his passenger. They owned homes in Montana and in Orange County, California. Dr. Longhurst worked at UC Irvine Health.
Officials say the Cessna single-engine plane took off from Gillespie Field in Santee, California just before 7 a.m. on Tuesday but crashed shortly after takeoff. Two dogs that were on board survived the impact, but one of the animals later died.
Witnesses on the ground say they heard a loud noise before the small plane crashed in an industrial lot near the airport.
"Some folks on the ground said they heard some kind of engine throttling and the airplane made a turn, it looks like and it came back traveling eastbound when it lost power and landed here in the yard," said Santee Fire Department Chief Richard Smith.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration were on the scene and the investigation will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.