Second Clairemont plane crash victim was father of four
SAN DIEGO — Authorities Wednesday released the name of a second man killed last weekend in a fiery plane crash in Clairemont.
Michael Zareski, 46, was one of three passengers in a single-engine, six-seat aircraft that crash-landed in a field next to Lafayette Elementary School, smashed into an unoccupied home and burst into flames about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Robert Stelling, 50, a resident of Southampton, New York, and Zareski of Torrance died in the wreckage of the Beech B36 Bonanza, which had begun having engine trouble shortly after takeoff from nearby Montgomery Field.
Stelling’s wife, Dawn, and the pilot of the aircraft, whose name has not been released, survived the accident. Medics took them to a hospital for treatment of injuries of undisclosed severity.
The Stellings, parents to three children, were visiting San Diego for a veterinarian conference, according to the Torrance Daily Breeze. Dawn Stelling is a veterinarian and the owner of Olde Towne Animal Hospital in Southampton, according to the clinic’s website.
Zareski, father to four children, also was a veterinarian, a well-known animal-care physician fondly known as “Dr. Mike” in his Los Angeles-area hometown, the Breeze reported.
Nobody was inside the Chandler Drive home when the plane slammed into it, though Max Sansa, who was renting it, told news crews he had left for work 10 minutes earlier and that his Maltese poodle, Biggie, was killed. Sansa’s wife and 2-year-old daughter were out of town at the time.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.