Dramatic dashcam video shows the final seconds of a twin-engine Cessna as it nosedived toward the ground and crashed into an unoccupied car outside a Santa Ana, California shopping center, killing all five people aboard.
Orange County fire officials say it could have been much worse. The accident occurred on a busy weekend shopping day in a highly trafficked retail area. The owner of the car that was hit was inside the store shopping at the time of the accident.
The plane was piloted by Scott Shepherd, the owner of a San Francisco real estate consulting firm, Category III Aviation Corp. The other victims were identified as Lara Shepherd, Floria and Navid Hakim, and Nasim Ghanaian. Some of the victims were related.
The plane had taken off from Concord, and was headed to John Wayne Airport about a mile from where the plane went down. The group was on their way to a real estate conference in Orange County, CBS News reported.
Moments before the crash, Shepherd declared an emergency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. Shoppers who witnessed the crash said the fixed-wing aircraft made a sputtering noise as it plummeted toward the ground nose first.
The pilot reportedly had several years experience flying airplanes, and had renewed his pilot’s license just last year.
Tony Bommarito with the Orange County Fire Authority said that the accident could have been much more tragic. “The fact that there was no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”
Source: CBS News