SANTA ANA (CNS) – An investigation continued today into the crash of a small airplane that took off from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and slammed into a neighborhood near El Cajon in San Diego County, killing all four people aboard.
Multiple media reports indicated that the plane was operating as an air ambulance and that the victims were two pilots and two nurses.
The crash was reported at about 7:15 p.m. Monday near the 1200 block of Pepper Drive and North Mollison Avenue in the unincorporated Bostonia neighborhood.
The area is a few miles east of Gillespie Field airport, where the plane was scheduled to land.
There was no immediate word on what led to the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation. According to the NTSB, the plane was a Learjet 35A business jet, which seats eight people.
The aircraft belonged to an El Cajon company called Aeromedevac Air Ambulance, and had flown a patient from Arizona to Orange County before attempting its return trip to Gillespie Field, CBS8 reported, citing multiple sources.
NBC7 reported that Aeromedevac’s website — which was later taken down — indicated that their aircraft are equipped with two pilots and two medical team workers. Deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s Santee and Lakeside stations immediately responded to the crash scene along with the Lakeside Fire Protection District, the California Highway Patrol and the El Cajon Police Department.
One home was damaged, but no injuries were reported on the ground.
Witnesses on the ground told reporters that the crash occurred in very poor weather conditions, amid rain and thick fog.
Pepper Drive was expected to remain closed between Topper Lane and North Second Street through Wednesday, officials said.
The sheriff’s department tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office had cleared the crash site, and all road closures should be lifted by Wednesday evening.
The crash took down an unknown amount of power lines. San Diego Gas & Electric reported that 225 customers in the El Cajon area were still without power Tuesday night, with power expected to be restored by 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The American Red Cross was providing assistance to residents who remain affected by the power outage, according to sheriff’s officials.