On a quiet Saturday morning in Southern California, a devastating plane crash occurred, tragically ending the lives of six people. The plane, a classic 1979 Cessna Citation 550 business jet, was attempting to touch down at French Valley Airport in Murrieta. However, due to poor visibility, the plane crashed, sparking a small brush fire and escalating the severity of the incident.
The ill-fated journey began at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The plane took off around 3:15 a.m. local time, as confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The crash happened just an hour later, near French Valley Airport.
All six people aboard a twin-engine plane were killed when it crashed amid poor visibility while trying to land at a Southern California airport early Saturday morning, officials said, sparking a small brush fire in the process. https://t.co/C0doEK2BP6
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 10, 2024
During a press conference, NTSB investigator Elliot Simpson revealed that the plane fell short of the runway by a worrying 500 feet. This was primarily due to the challenging weather conditions that reduced visibility. The pilot, trying to manage the difficult situation, informed air traffic control that he intended to execute a missed approach, a common procedure when the runway is not clearly visible.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the tragic loss of all six passengers at the crash site. The victims were identified as Abigail Tellez-Vargas, 33, Ibrahem Razick, 46, Alma Razick, 51, Lindsey Gleiche, 31, Manuel Vargas-Regalado, 32, and Riese Lenders, 25. Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident, and a preliminary report is expected within the next two weeks.
This crash is particularly concerning as it is the second such incident in the area within a week. In a separate accident, another Cessna crashed near French Valley airport, resulting in one fatality and three injuries. The person who died was identified as 39-year-old Jared Newman from Temecula, who was reportedly flying the plane under a training license, a clear breach of federal regulations.
These unfortunate incidents highlight the critical importance of strict adherence to aviation safety regulations. As the investigations continue, it is hoped that valuable lessons will be learned to prevent such heartbreaking tragedies in the future.