Families who lost homes in Santee plane crash receive $21,000 check

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SANTEE, Calif. — The families who lost their homes in the Santee plane crash are getting a huge helping hand from the community as the victims were presented a check of more than $21,000.

Applause, smiles and hugs filled a Wendy’s in Santee Friday as the family owner presented the Campbell and Morris families with the check.

“When we organized this fundraiser, I couldn’t imagine the response we would get from the community of Santee and really all of San Diego County,” Wendy’s family owner Brian Spongberg said. “It’s an honor to be able to help these families and we were thrilled we were able to raise so much.”

The check comes two weeks after the Wendy’s was packed day and night with customers trying to help the struggling families. The families say the funds will help in their long road to recovery.

“My mom is doing pretty well,” said Jimmy Slaff-Gruel, who is the son of the victim. “She’s been released from the hospital. She’s staying with me. Phil on the other hand, he’s still in the intensive care unit.”

The two families in return presented the owner with a plaque capturing a heartwarming memory they can all cherish forever.

“Everything that’s happened, you know, all of the support that we received in our community and San Diego County and Jeremy Street and Greencastle Street, the streets kind of surrounding our home, it just really reiterated that we choose the right place and we want to make our way back there,” said Courtney Campbell who lost her home. 

The Campbells say they will use the funds to help rebuild their home. Meanwhile, the Morris family says the funds will help with their medical expenses.

Two people including the pilot Dr. Sugata Das and longtime UPS driver Steve Krueger were killed in the crash.

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