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Plane Crash Victims Identified; All 4 Lived in Orange County

May 30, 2003|Zeke Minaya | Times Staff Writer

The bodies of four people killed in a Memorial Day plane crash in the eastern Sierra Nevada were identified Thursday as Orange County residents by the Inyo County coroner's office.

There were no survivors on the Rockwell International 114 plane that crashed about 16 miles southwest of Bishop at an elevation of 13,000 feet.

On the plane were the pilot and owner of the aircraft, Steven Meissel, 51, of Mission Viejo and his wife, Nancy, 54, Inyo County Deputy Coroner Cecil Compton said. Also on board were Steven Meissel's brother, Richard, 55, of Irvine and the brother's girlfriend, Tracy Taber Brewer, 47, of Aliso Viejo, Compton said.

Steven Meissel and his wife were members of the Orange County chapter of the Flying Samaritans, a nonprofit group that flies doctors and medical supplies to Baja California. Meissel was president of an Irvine-based software company.

The plane was headed to John Wayne Airport from South Lake Tahoe when it went down Monday. Civil Air Patrol officials picked up an emergency beacon that was automatically activated on the plane. On Tuesday, officials found the wreckage, but it took another day to remove the bodies from the site.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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