Plane crashes are a rare occurrence; the estimate is that the chances of a commercial airline crashing are less than one in a million. However, this airstrip in California saw two crashes within a week.
Keep reading to learn more about these events…
On July 8, 2023, at approximately 4:15 a.m., a Cessna C550 business jet crashed near Murrieta, California’s French Valley Airport. The crash resulted in the death of six people. The incident was the second one the airstrip saw in less than a week.
The plane took off from Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport and crashed into a field near French Valley Airport. The plane burst into flames as it attempted to land at the airport.
The Riverside County Fire Department put out the small bushfire caused by the crash. None of the six passengers survived the crash. The plane was being piloted by a commercial flyer, and all other passengers in the plane were adults.
The jet took off on Saturday morning amidst heavy fog, which was causing poor visibility. The low visibility might have been the reason the plane missed the runway by several hundred yards.
While trying to land, the pilot told air traffic control he would attempt a “missed approach.” This is a maneuver pilots attempt when they cannot see the runway clearly.
He failed the first attempt, and in his second attempt at 4:15 a.m. the pilot crashed 500 feet short of the runway. The entire plane was engulfed in flames by the time authorities made it onto the scene.
National Transportation Safety Board stated that a “marine layer” of fog had been on the runway. They said this was a regular occurrence in the area. Patrick O’Neil, manager of Moon Valley Nurseries in Murrieta, said, “It’s almost like a whiteout if you’re in the hills.” He went on to say that driving in such conditions is akin to driving blindfolded since you cannot even see a few feet ahead of you.
The crash is currently being investigated using the audio tapes between the pilot and air traffic control. The identities of the six people who passed away in the crash have now been revealed.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office shared that 32-year-old Manuel Vargas-Regalado from Temecula, and 25-year-old Riese Lenders from Rancho Palos Verdes, were two pilots who died that day.
The passengers in the 45-minute flight who lost their lives were 31-year-old Lindsey Gleiche, 33-year-old Murrieta’s Abigail Tellez-Vargas, 46-year-old Temecula’s Ibrahem Razick, and 51-year-old Alma Razick.
The Hyundai of Yuma Facebook business page also shared the news that Ibrahem was the owner of the company. They shared images of the joyful man who they were paying tribute to.
Those close to the people who lost their lives in the crash posted condolences and heartfelt messages about their deaths.
The first crash of the week occurred on July 4th, 2023, and only had one casualty. Three others had been injured in the crash of the single-engine Cessna 172 crashed in western Riverside County. The crash happened at 2 p.m. in Murrieta near the French Valley Airport.
39-year-old Jared Newman was piloting the plane with his three young sons. He had been “newly certified” on June 9, 2023, as a private pilot. The three other people on board were his sons Connor, Caleb, and Elijah, and they all miraculously survived the crash. According to recent reports, the boys were in “stable” condition at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital.
A GoFundMe account was set up for Jared’s widow so she could cover the expenses for the funeral, her children’s medical bills as well as for her general survival as a single mother.
We wish everyone who has been affected our very best as they attempt to overcome this loss. Share this piece with others so they can know about this tragedy as well, and send their condolences.