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Latest: Cleanup, investigation continue at site of deadly Santee plane crash

SANTEE, Calif. — Investigators will soon begin the painstaking process of picking through wreckage as they work to learn what caused a Cessna to slam into homes in Santee, killing two people.

SkyFOX flew above Jeremy and Greencastle streets Tuesday morning, showing the charred remains of two homes destroyed in the crash. Cars parked nearby were torched by the ensuing flames, and a few other homes were damaged, firefighters said. The debris field covered a block in the residential area.

The National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the crash site around 8 a.m. Road closures are expected through Thursday as investigators gather evidence about the crash, such as surveillance video showing the moment the twin-engine C340 Cessna nosedives. Anyone with photos or videos is asked to send them to

While authorities have yet to release the names of either person killed in the crash, UPS confirmed an employee died and neighbors told FOX 5’s Jacqueline Sarkissian that they’re heartbroken over the death of the driver. He was well-liked, with some kids even giving him a nickname after seeing him during deliveries.

Quick-thinking by a handful of neighbors in the aftermath of the crash has been a bright spot for families amid the tragic situation. Three people who live in the neighborhood joined the FOX 5 Morning News to detail the tense moments when they ran up to a burning home and helped pull their neighbors to safety.

“Literally looks like a bomb went off over there. I mean, how nobody died in those homes, which is what I think I heard, is a miracle,” neighbor Toby Creighton said Tuesday morning. “You see that video of the people rescuing them. … The city is awesome. They don’t care, they just run right out and help.”

A man at the scene told FOX 5’s Jaime Chambers that his mom and dad were rushed to the hospital after the rescue. The plane crash is the third in the East County city since 2015.