The death toll from the crash of a small plane near Riverside Municipal Airport has now risen to four. The most recent victim, a woman in her forties, had suffered serious burns over 90 percent of her body during the crash. She had remained in critical condition and been on a ventilator and feeding tube since the accident, and when a third round of surgery brought no improvement, her family chose to take her off life support. The remaining survivor has shown improvement and been moved to a hospital closer to her home.
A Tragedy for Passengers and Residents
The five people on board the plane, a Cessna 310, were beginning the return trip to San Jose after watching a cheerleading competition held at a Disney park when the plane crashed about one mile from the airport shortly after takeoff. Three of the victims died in the crash.
Initial reports had created confusion about the identity of the victims and the survivors, suggesting that some had been teens from the competition or residents on the ground. All were adults on the plane, however, ranging in age from twenty-two to eighty-three.
The plane came down in a residential neighborhood and damaged three homes with an explosion that felt to some residents like an earthquake. Two homes and at least one parked car were completely destroyed in the fire that followed the crash, but fortunately, there were no injuries or deaths on the ground, although at least one resident was in one of the houses at the time. This was the second crash of a small plane in the neighborhood in two years, which has some residents worried about their safety.
A witness at the airport has told investigators that the pilot had difficulty starting the aircraft’s engine, and that the group left in a hurry to take advantage of a break in the day’s rainy weather. There has been no official word on the cause of the crash, which is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB investigation will probably take more than a year to complete and will be as thorough as possible, looking into every detail of the crash, including weather, the state of the aircraft (the plane had been built in 1974), and pilot experience (it was unclear from reports if the lone survivor was the pilot or a passenger).
The NTSB has its hands full investigating this type of crash. A 2013 investigation found that there are as many as five small plane crashes every day in the United States, accounting for up to 97 percent of all aviation accidents and as many as 500 deaths each year.
California Plane Crash Lawyer
When you’ve been the victim of an accident involving an aircraft, it’s vitally important that you get experienced help as you take action to recover compensation for the property damage and injuries caused. The team at Kohan & Bablove,LLP understands the practice of airplane accident law, and we offer each client a free consultation to go over the details of his or her unique case. Call us today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule an appointment.