A twin-engine plane caught fire mid-flight and crashed into a house last Sunday (February 4) in Yorba Linda, killing the pilot and four others.
The male pilot was the only occupant of the small Cessna 414A. He was identified as Antonio Pastini, a retired Chicago Police Department officer.
According to Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Cory Martino, the four other victims who died were 2 males and 2 females. The coroner is still on the process of identifying the victims who were inside a single-family home in the residential section of Yorba Linda.
Martino has also said that it still wasn’t clear if the victims were people who lived in the house or they were just mere guests. He added that investigators were using DNA to identify the victims. Hence, authorities still haven’t released their names.
Two other people were also rushed to the hospital for what Martino has described as “moderate injuries”.
Nearby residents where the aircraft fell off heard a loud shrilling sound which neighbor, Lee Davis
After they heard the sound, panicked neighbors rushed immediately to the burning house and tried to extinguish the falling debris on the street with their garden hoses.
“You could just see pieces falling everywhere, then like it was slow motion, I saw a bigger piece falling in front of our home,” another neighbor told the Orange County Register.
Maja Smith, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board will be leading the investigation for this case. According to Smith, it will be a challenge to recover the wreckage as it was spread across four blocks and 15 or 16 homes in a “huge” debris field.
The investigation will be done in Arizona as the wreckage will be collected and moved there. Investigators will also examine the plane’s frame and engine as well as Pastini’s pilot history and experience.