A couple killed this week when the light plane they were in crashed in an industrial area in Santee were identified Wednesday as a UC Irvine medical school professor and his wife.
John Longhurst, 70, and his 71-year-old spouse, Cherril, were aboard a Cessna 182 Skylane that apparently lost power shortly after taking off from the El Cajon general aviation airport on Tuesday morning, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The single-engine, four-seat aircraft turned around and briefly headed back toward the airfield before descending precipitously and plunging into a storage yard at a glass-manufacturing business at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue just before 7 a.m., authorities said.
The couple, residents of the Corona del Mar area of Newport Beach, died in the crumpled wreckage of the plane.
No one on the ground was hurt.
A pair of dogs that had been riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to an El Cajon veterinary hospital, where one of them died.
The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the accident.
It was unclear which of the two people aboard the airplane was piloting it at the time of the crash.
–City News Service
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