UPS employee among at least 2 killed when small plane crashes in Santee

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Latest: NTSB arrives in Santee amid investigation into cause of plane crash

SANTEE, Calif. — A small plane crashed in a Santee neighborhood Monday afternoon, killing at least two people including a UPS employee, authorities said.

The plane crashed at the intersection of Jeremy and Greencastle streets around 12:15 p.m., according to Santee Fire Department. The aircraft was a twin-engine C340 Cessna, Santee Mayor John Minto said, and according to the county, its flight plan indicated it was traveling from Yuma, Arizona to Montgomery Gibbs Executive Airport in Kearny Mesa.

Authorities said they did not yet know how many people were aboard the plane, but that they believed the injuries were “nonsurvivable,” Santee Fire Department Battalion Chief Justin Matsushita told reporters.

The plane was owned by Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist at Yuma Regional Medical Center in the southwestern portion of Arizona, an official from the hospital said in a statement. No official confirmation has yet been provided confirming that Das was the pilot of the plane at the time of the crash.

“We are deeply sad to hear news of a plane owned by local cardiologist Dr. Sugata Das which crashed near Santee,” Dr. Bharat Magu, chief medical officer at YRMC, said in a statement.  “As an outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man Dr. Das leaves a lasting legacy. We extend our prayers and support to his family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time.”

SkyFOX video showed fire engines dousing two homes destroyed in the crash. Two to three additional homes were damaged, Matsushita said. He said those inside the impacted homes were able to get out.

A UPS delivery truck was destroyed in the crash. The company confirmed in an emailed statement to FOX 5 that an employee died.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our employee, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the statement said.

Two victims were taken to local hospitals to be treated. Their conditions were not known.

A man at the scene told FOX 5’s Jaime Chambers that he received a call from a neighbor who said his mom and dad were rushed to the hospital.

“Don’t know the extent of their injuries. I do know from talking to some of the neighbors that it was more bumps and bruises. I think they were lucky they were in the back of the house when it happened because it came in the front. Michael, the neighbor, pulled my mom out of the back window and my stepdad was in the backyard so they broke down the fence to get him out.”

Santana High School, located two blocks west of the crash, said on Twitter that all students were “secure.” Students were being released for lunch or dismissal depending on whether they had other classes Monday.

American Red Cross set up a temporary evacuation point at the Cameron Family YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Drive.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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