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2 Killed as Plane Crashes in San Bernardino County

September 28, 2003|Hector Becerra | Times Staff Writer

Two people died Saturday when their small plane plunged into a dry wash in the Lytle Creek area of San Bernardino County, authorities said.

Witnesses said they saw the plane spiraling down before it slammed hard into the rocky wash about 5 p.m., said Chip Patterson, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

"It missed northbound lanes of the I-15 by 40 feet or less," he said. "There were a number of 911 calls, probably because it was so close to the freeway."

The single-engine aircraft, which officials described as experimental, burst into flames. But because of the lack of vegetation in the area, the fire was quickly extinguished, said Cliff Ellis of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

No one on the ground was injured, he said. Because of the extent of damage, the bodies could not be immediately identified.

The plane crashed about half a mile from the nearest businesses on Sierra Avenue, and several miles from Glen Helen Regional Park, Ellis said. Investigators were not immediately able to determine where the plane had taken off, Patterson said.

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