Santee, Calif. — Nearly one year after a small plane crashed into a Santee neighborhood, killing UPS driver Steve Krueger, a sandcastle memorial was made in Ocean Beach to honor him.
The plane crashed at the intersection of Jeremy and Greencastle streets around 12:15 p.m. on October 11, 2021. Krueger had worked for UPS for more than 30 years and was less than a year away from retirement.
It took a team of about 5 people more than 7 hours to complete the sandcastle memorial Sunday.
“Steve would be very moved by this and that’s what’s important to us,” longtime friend and former coworker Oliver Jones said.
The sandcastle memorial was complete with a UPS truck, a water skier and Mammoth Mountain carved into the sand of the place he called home.
“Those are the things that Steve was passionate about — his job at UPS, water skiing, snow skiing,” said Steve’s brother Jeff Krueger. “And of course, Ocean Beach was his home.”
“Steve was part of the community, part of the beach and sand community,” Meg, a sandcarver with I.B. Posse, said. “And he was known to a lot of members of our team and we wanted to do something to honor him.”
“It’s times like this that makes you realize that people like Steve touches so many people in so many different ways with his kindness, his willing to help out,” Jones said.
“Whenever I get depressed, I remember Steve wouldn’t want us to be depressed,” Jeff Krueger said. “Steve would want us to be thinking about all the fun we had while he was around and all the good times.”
He said that over the last year, he’s gone through his brother’s items and found boxes of dog treats. Jeff said Steve didn’t even own a dog, but always kept his UPS truck stocked with treats to give to dogs on his route.
“As humble as he was, I think he’d be very appreciative,” Jones said. “I know he’s looking down on us right now knowing that he meant so much to so many different people in so many different ways.”
A permanent memorial bench is also planned in Ocean Beach.