The 40th anniversary of the crash of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, which killed 144 people, was marked Tuesday with a ceremony in the North Park neighborhood where the jetliner came down.
At the intersection of Dwight and Nile streets, where the PSA jetliner hit the ground at 9:01 a.m. Sept. 25, 1978, a remembrance ceremony for the crash victims was attended by state and local officials, including City Councilman Chris Ward, Sen. Toni Atkins, Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Police Chief Dave Nisleit.
They were joined by first responders and members of the North Park neighborhood in unveiling a temporary plaque on the corner of Dwight and Nile to honor the victims. What a permanent on-site memorial could look like is still a matter of some debate.
“Everyone agrees there needs to be a suitable memorial,” Gloria said. “I sense a level of consensus (about a permanent memorial) that wasn’t there a few years ago.”
Members of the PSA Flight 182 Historical Memorial Committee are working with the office of City Councilman Chris Ward to find a permanent location for a memorial plaque in the neighborhood — one already exists at the San Diego Air & Space Museum — that doesn’t infringe on private property rights or public safety.
“I want to thank all the members of the memorial committee for your continued work with the City Council to be able to truly honor and respect this place, which is both hallowed ground and but also has rebuilt and is a vibrant neighborhood,” said Ward, who represents District 3, which includes North Park.
40 years since the crash of PSA Flight 182. A ceremony is underway in North Park this morning to celebrate the lives of those killed on Sept. 25, 1978 and to honor the first responders @SanDiegoPD. pic.twitter.com/Wep8X2ngav
— City of San Diego (@CityofSanDiego) September 25, 2018
In El Cajon, Grossmont College plans to screen a 2010 documentary film about the crash, “Return to Dwight and Nile,” at 6 p.m. After the screening, first responders, surviving family members and former PSA employees will share their memories of the crash.
Flight 182 was descending on San Diego International Airport when it collided with a private Cessna 172 over North Park. The Boeing 727 crashed near the intersection of Dwight and Nile streets, while the Cessna landed near the intersection of Polk Avenue and 32nd Street. In addition to the 135 killed aboard Flight 182 and the two Cessna co-pilots, the crash killed seven people on the ground, including two children.
Nine others on the ground were injured and 22 homes in North Park were destroyed or damaged.
“All these years later, people in San Diego vividly remember this event and many still suffer the loss of family and friends,” said Marty Ennis, a history professor at Grossmont College who organized the school’s memorial event and covers the crash in his history classes.
“Members of the San Diego police and fire departments who were first responders experienced the most difficult moment of their career on that day,” Ennis said. “Many people in San Diego had friends and relatives who worked for the airline. There is a group dedicated to the creation of a memorial to the victims of this crash and feel very strongly that the event must be remembered.”
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: