SANTEE, Calif.—A twin-engine plane crashed in a residential neighborhood near Santana High School Oct. 11, killing at least two people—including a United Parcel Service truck driver—injuring several others, and engulfing homes in flames.
The C340 twin-engine Cessna was en route from Yuma, Arizona to San Diego when it crashed into two residential homes at the corner of Jeremy Street and Greencastle Street around 12 p.m.
Local resident Sandra Diaz told The Epoch Times that she witnessed an elderly couple, who lived near one of the houses that was crashed into, pulled out of their backyard by someone, but their dog was killed.
“Today was my day off … I was getting ready to grocery shop … I left the house and that’s when I heard the plane … They said it was a twin-engine plane … That’s scary,” Diaz told The Epoch Times.
Aerial news footage showed a pair of homes gutted by fire at the crash site with the charred wreckage of a vehicle in the roadway in front of them.
Initial reports suggest the plane may have struck a UPS delivery truck before plowing into the houses.
The cause of the crash is yet to be determined, a Santee Fire Department chief told The Epoch Times.
It was unknown how many occupants were aboard the six-seat aircraft when it plunged to the ground but Santee Fire Department said the injuries are likely to be non-survivable for anyone that was on the plane.
“Our primary concern when we got on scene was obviously the extinguishment of the fire, and treatment of any victims,” a Santee Fire Department chief told The Epoch Times, adding that the department is preserving material from the crash for further investigation.
Two people were confirmed dead and two more injured were transported to a hospital with unknown conditions.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of our employee, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” city officials said in a statement. “We also send our condolences for the other individuals who are involved in this incident, and their families and friends.
“We are cooperating with the responding authorities in their investigation, and we are respectfully deferring questions to the investigating authorities.”
City officials turned off power in the nearby neighborhood and closed Jeremy Street and North Magnolia Avenue between Mast Boulevard and Second Street. The debris extended approximately 1 block to the southeast of the crash site.
Santana High School had returned to normal operations by mid-afternoon, with students being “released for lunch or dismissal, if they do not have any other classes today,” according to a campus advisory.
The Red Cross established an evacuation center at Cameron Family YMCA on Riverwalk Drive in Santee for residents forced from their homes due to the crash.