4 people killed when plane crashed into California home identified
Authorities have identified the four people killed when a twin-engine plane broke up in the sky Sunday and plummeted down on a home in Yorba Linda, California.
Roy Lee Anderson, 85, and Dahlia Marlies Leber Anderson, 68, both of Yorba Linda; Stacie Norene Leber, 48, of Corona; and Donald Paul Elliott, 58, of Norco, were all killed in the crash, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Coroner Division said Wednesday.
The family of the victims said in a statement on Wednesday they were “devastated by the loss” and called the Southern California home a “beacon for so many family and friends where many celebrations were held.”
The pilot of the plane, 75-year-old Antonio Pastini, also died in the crash. He was carrying a fake police badge, law enforcement officials said.
Pastini was a commercial pilot, National Transportation Safety Board officials said Monday.
Authorities initially believed he was a former police officer, but later learned he was not affiliated with the Chicago Police Department.
“We were contacted by the Chicago Police Department and they reported that no record of (Pastini) him as being a former officer,” said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The family of the four victims in the home said they “will be greatly missed,” in the statement.
“Our family bond is tight and each member lost in this tragedy represents more than just one role within our family,” the statement read. “We lost parents, grandparents, great-parents, spouses, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles.”
“We want to thank our extended family and friends who have provided amazing support, kindness and compassion. It takes a village,” the family said.
Authorities said the crash left debris over four blocks in the Yorba Linda community, located about 33 miles south of Los Angeles.
The Orange County Fire Authority said the “debris ignited a massive inferno at one home, quickly engulfing the two-story structure before spreading to a second home,” KTLA reported. The station said video on social media captured images of “panicked residents rushing about the street.”
At a Monday news conference, NTSB lead investigator Maja Smith said Pastini left Fullerton Municipal Airport in a 1981 Cessna 414A around 1:35 p.m. Sunday.
It was not clear what his destination was, Smith said.
According to preliminary radar data, the plane made a left turn, climbing to 7,800 feet, and went 10 miles out before making a “rapid descent” into the neighborhood, NTSB accident investigator Eliott Simpson said.
Witnesses Smith spoke to said they saw a plane coming out of a cloud still in one piece, and then eventually breaking off in pieces before it hit the ground.
Smith said the NTSB will also look at Pastini’s pilot history, medical records and flight experience. They’ll also be looking at the structural integrity of the plane and where and why it broke up. The environmental impacts will also be examined.