SAN DIEGO – One person died and another was critically injured Thursday when a single engine plane crashed in the driveway of a house in Santee Thursday morning, authorities said.
Emergency crews went to the home in the 9000 block of Paseo de Los Castillo after the crash was reported at 9:15 a.m. near Gillespie Field in Santee. The house is located at the end of Gillespie Field’s runway.
The plane, a single-engine Piper Cherokee, was registered to Volar Corporation, a flight school known as Golden State Flying Club based in El Cajon. Two people were on board the plane, which crashed for unknown reasons just after taking off from Gillespie Field, according to Ian Gregory with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Crews worked to free the a person who reportedly survived the crash from the wreckage. An ambulance drove away from the scene, but it was not clear if it anyone was in it.
“I heard the sputtering of a plane – a sound that you hear right before a plane is about to die,” said Greg, a homeowner who lives two blocks from the crash site.
Tommy McCormick, 13, was home sick from school and woke up to a loud explosion.
“I thought it was a car crash and heard people screaming ‘Fire!'” McCormick said. “I looked outside and saw the plane had crashed. Two people who live there ran outside and were looking in the plane, but couldn’t do anything to get the pilot out.”
McCormick’s mother Debbie told FOX 5 that she received a call from him right after the plane crashed.
“Living near the airport you expect this might happen. It’s just scary that it was a day when he was home sick,” Debbie said.
The two people who live in the house where the plane crashed were “alright,” according to Debbie.
Golden State Flying Club co-owner Richard Essery said the school has been around since 1968. They fly out of Gillespie Field about 10 times a day and haven’t had a crash until today, he said.
An official at the flight school released a statement:
“We are very saddened by the tragic accident involving one of our aircraft this morning. Our hearts go out to those on board and their families. At this time the NTSB, FAA and law enforcement are investigating the crash and we’ll learn more when the facts being to become available.”
[This story originally reported the plane had crashed into a house.]